Delta Development Group, Inc. (Delta) was retained by the Steel Valley Council of Governments (SVCOG), the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments (TCVCOG), and the Twin Rivers Council of Governments (TRCOG) to analyze the financial impact of blight on their 41 member communities. Blighted and vacant properties undermine the value of real estate within a community, cost municipalities significant dollars to maintain, and erode the local tax base because of the tax delinquency often associated with blighted properties. As a result, the Tri-COG Collaborative hopes to use the study, in part, to develop consensus among various stakeholders regarding the magnitude of the impact of blight and to develop meaningful ways to address the issue of vacant and blighted properties.
Specifically, the following study addresses the direct costs and indirect costs of vacant and blighted parcels including: 1) the direct costs related to municipal services, 2) the direct loss of tax revenues, and 3) the indirect costs associated with blight including a resultant decrease in property values for those properties located in close proximity to a blighted property. It also quantifies the potential to repurpose blighted or vacant sites and generate new development and new tax revenues for the Tri-COG communities.
The study area is the geographical boundaries of the three COGs as it relates to their service areas and member communities. For purposes of this study, the term “Tri-COG Communities” shall mean the 41 member communities of the three COGs. Among the three COGs, there are a total of 20,077 vacant lots and 7,158 lots with blighted structures (defined as structures with a poor, very poor, or unsound condition rating). The vacant and blighted lots are scattered throughout the Tri-COG Communities and the majority are privately owned. The following is a summary of some of the key financial implications of these blighted and vacant properties.
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