Council turns down leniency request after company misses deadline

Columbus City Council declined to offer leniency last night to a low-income housing company that missed the deadline to file the paperwork for a tax break.

Herman and Kittle Properties Incorporated had been approved for a tax abatement on the Lofts at Ashford apartment complex at 10th Street and Hutchins Avenue back in 2017.

However, when it came time for the first reduced property tax payment this year, the company failed to file the appropriate paperwork, despite being prodded by city and county officials. That put them into non-compliance with the tax abatement agreement and on the hook for about $70,000 in property taxes to the city, county and other taxing units, city officials said.

The developers asked the City Council to waive the noncompliance, saying that missing the deadline was unintentional. A waiver would allow the company to still receive the tax break benefits.

However, several council members said that while under state law the city could waive the penalty, it also would set a bad precedent for other companies seeking tax breaks.

The council voted to reject the request with four council members voting against approving the waiver, including Tom Dell, Dave Bush, Grace Kestler and Frank Miller.