Albert Abdouche Should Lobby the Allentown School District on Americus Hotel

It would be great if the Americus hotel was included in the Allentown NIZ borders, but it’s probably true that Albert Abdouche would have to go to the state to get the NIZ boundaries expanded, and that seems like a heavy political lift.

Best of luck to Mr. Abdouche on that, but a more realistic next-best option would be to lobby the Allentown School District to copy the city of Allentown’s millage rate spread between land and buildings:

As you can see, the City of Allentown taxes land at 5 times the rate for buildings. If the Allentown School District copied the city’s millage spread, the impact would be a sizable tax abatement on Mr. Abdouche’s renovation of the Americus Hotel AND a property tax cut for about 75% of landowners in the Allentown School District. This is great politics.

Raising the tax rate on land value, while lowering the tax rate on building value, would also turn up the heat on vacant land owners in the NIZ, pushing them to build a building, sell the land to a developer who wants to build a building, or internalize the opportunity cost of land speculation by paying substantially higher taxes.

Comments

  1. joebethlehem says:

    Abdouche asked not to be part of the NIZ to keep the property in KOZ status. Properties in the NIZ can get funding for capital improvements but still have to pay property taxes.

  2. John says:

    You sure that’s true joebethlehem? If so he authored his own death warrant. Allentown won’t be able to support 1 hotel for many years let alone 3, and the winner will be the new one with the taxpayer subsidized room rates.

    • FutureDowntownArenaAttendee says:

      This is true… when buildings were chosen to be in the NIZ area and were already receiving KOZ benefits the owners had to drop the KOZ to be put in the NIZ. He elected to stay in the KOZ. The city initially wanted that building to be in the NIZ.

  3. John says:

    Jeez what a mistake…

    If I were Abdouche, I’d walk down to City Hall and drop the keys to the building off on Pawlowski’s desk. That building has zero chance of success now, there’s no sense in spending even $1 more on it.

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