Developer asking City for full tax exemption to open Texas Roadhouse

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Developer asking City for full tax exemption to open Texas Roadhouse

By Christine Holmes, News Director

A Cincinnati-based real estate developer is asking the City of Zanesville to grant a potential new restaurant on Underwood Street tax exemption for 30 years with the creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District for the purpose of urban redevelopment.

During a special meeting of the Community Development Committee Wednesday evening, members expressed concerns regarding the tax exemption, especially questioning the fairness to already established restaurants in the area operating without a special exemption.

“I could see how if I was the proprietor of a competing restaurant that has been here and struggled and, you know, did all of the things that it takes to stay in the business, then all of a sudden a chain comes in and is getting a 100 percent tax abatement from the city for 30 years on the increased value of the property, I mean, that would not rub me the right way,” said Chair of the Community Development Committee Mark Baker.

In the past, TIF Districts have been implemented within the City, especially along Northpointe Drive, but those districts were created with the intention that the City would directly benefit from infrastructure improvements, explained Community Development Director Jay Bennett.

Meridian Realty Capital, LLC is asking the city to provide a 100 percent tax exemption rate between the tax collection years 2021 and 2050 in order for the restaurant, listed as Texas Roadhouse in the proposal, to complete the sale.

In order to enter a full tax exemption, approval from the Zanesville City Schools is necessary.

With many questions left for the developer, committee members opted to send the proposal back for more questions before presenting it to city council.