ANDERSON – Since 2015, the Anderson City Council has approved residential tax abatements for the construction of 51 houses in the city.

The city offers up to a three-year abatement on property taxes for new home construction. The first year the abatement is for 100% of the increase in assessed value and decreases by 33% until the abatement period ends.

Since that time the new home construction has amounted to an investment in the city of $12.6 million or an average price of $247,244 per house.

Thus far in 2019 there have been eight residential tax abatements approved by the council with a value of $2.2 million.

The city has several more requests for a residential tax abatement in the pipeline, Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said Wednesday.

Winkler said there has been a lot of construction in Apple Downs and the city is seeing new homes being built in other subdivisions.

“We are working with several developers that are looking at Anderson for the construction of larger subdivisions,” he said. “Our goal is to encourage quality residential development in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range.”

In terms of overall value, Winkler said, Anderson and Madison County is a better buy than in neighboring Hamilton County. He said the biggest difference is the cost of a lot.

“Lot costs are a big factor,” he said. “Property in Anderson and Madison County is significantly lower than in neighboring counties.”

Winkler said the residential tax abatement program in Anderson helps attract potential buyers and builders.

“It helps us to distinguish Anderson from Pendleton,” he said. “Pendleton is closer to the interstate and a little nearer the Indianapolis metropolitan area. The tax abatement program helps us compete.”

The most expensive house being constructed this year is $535,410 in the Deer Creek subdivision by local business owner Jim Hackleman.

Hackleman explained that the family wants a ranch-style home so the couple doesn’t have to climb stairs.

At the council’s May meeting, an abatement was approved for Jacqueline and Freeman Beverly to build a $238,000 house in the Apple Downs subdivision.

Jacqueline Beverly said they wanted to move into a house with more room than an apartment.

Many of the new houses being constructed in Anderson are in the Apple Downs subdivision near the Exit 226 interchange of Interstate 69. Previously Mike Leslie, general manager for Bridgenorth Homes, which is building in Apple Downs, said the residential tax abatement program is important to both the builder and the buyer.

“It saves the buyer money and makes them more interested in building new,” he said.

Leslie said the Anderson program is used in advertising homes in Apple Downs.

The abatement requests have been increasing since 2015. Four requests were approved that year and doubled to eight in 2016.

The highest number of abatements approved came in 2017 when 16 were granted with a value of $3.9 million. There were 15 requests approved in 2018 with a value of $3.7 million.
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