Division of Housing and Building

Homeowner's Tax Abatement Program

The City of Lakewood was the first municipality in the State of Ohio to enact legislation allowing a homeowner to qualify for any improvement that would increase the assessed value of the property for the Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement Program to defer this tax increase for a period of five (5) years. This, we feel, will help encourage property owners to rehabilitate and maintain their properties.

The City of Lakewood has available a Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement Program (216-443-7100) for all one and two family dwelling units. The program applies to any new construction and / or improvements that cost at least $2,500.00 and cause an increase in the assessed value of your property. This defers your tax increase for a period of five (5) years. An application for this program will be automatically sent to you upon completion of the job and closeout of all permits for this project. When you receive this application, fill it out and return it to the Lakewood Building Department, 12650 Detroit Ave., Lakewood Ohio 44107. If you have any questions about this form, call 216-529-6285.

Before you perform a remodel or extensive repair work please view the Home Improvement and Maintenance Guide to see if you need permits for the work you are planning to do.

View complete list of contractors (registered and insured) with the City of Lakewood's Building Department »

As a part of the authorizing legislation for this program, a Housing Council consisting of seven (7) members was appointed to oversee this program. In addition, City Council designated a Housing Officer, or his / her building inspectors, to conduct the required Cuyahoga County annual inspections of properties that receive a Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement exemption. If the inspection, which shall be limited to the area of improvement, indicates noncompliance with the housing code of the City of Lakewood, the Housing Officer / Inspector shall notify the exemption holder of his / her findings and allow the exemption holder to correct any violation(s). If the exemption holder does not correct said violations within the time period specified the Housing Officer / Inspector shall revoke the exemption. The exemption holder would then have the right to appeal the Housing Officer's / Inspector's ruling to the Housing Council.

The following was taken from the Cuyahoga County Auditor's brochure explaining what projects are tax-abatable and which projects don't qualify for tax abatement.

The following home improvements may increase the assessed value of your property and do qualify for the Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement Program (216-443-7100):

  • Install an indoor fireplace
  • Add a new porch
  • Install additional bathroom or toilet
  • Install a shower stall
  • Finish attic, second floor or bedroom with paneling, plaster or drywall
  • Build a new or enlarged garage
  • Add additional living area (enlarge the 'footprint' / square footage of your house)
  • Air conditioning
  • Rear patio deck

Normal repairs and maintenance to the exterior of your home will not increase the real estate tax assessment of your home and therefore do not qualify for the Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement Program (216-443-7100), this includes:

  • Scrape and paint of exterior of house
  • Any landscaping, lawns, shrubs, grass, plants and window boxes
  • Repair or replace deteriorated porches / steps
  • Siding repair
  • Install lawn sprinkling system
  • Add or replace gutters and downspouts
  • Install storm windows and doors
  • Install outdoor lighting
  • Insulate and weather-strip openings
  • Add windows and doors
  • Install aluminum or vinyl siding
  • Repair, replace or add window shutters
  • Re-point, repair or replace sidewalk or driveway
  • New roof
  • Install awnings
  • Fence

The repairs and improvements listed below can be made without increasing property taxes if they are not part of a complete modernization. Normal repairs and maintenance to the interior of your home will not increase the real estate tax assessment of your home, and therefore do not qualify for the Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement Program (216-443-7100), these includes but are not limited to:

  • Add electrical circuits or outlets
  • Complete rewiring
  • Replace plumbing
  • Install or replace light fixtures
  • Repair plaster
  • Replace oil or gas burner furnace
  • Replace hot water heater
  • Paint, wallpaper and other redecorating
  • Add closets
  • Add built-in bookcases, cabinets and vent fans
  • Remodel kitchen
  • Resurface ceiling and walls
  • Resurface floors
  • Replace or refinish woodwork
  • Replace furnace (with one of the same type)
  • Install window blinds

Removal of dilapidated sheds and garages will result in those items being taken off the tax duplicate as long as a Lakewood Building Department Demolition Permit is obtained by the property owner / or their contractor.

If you have any further questions (or projects not shown above) pertaining the above Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement Program please call the Cuyahoga County Auditor at (216-443-7100) or visit the Cuyahoga County Auditor's website.