Community Reinvestment Area

Empowering Businesses to Grow

The City of Wooster has collaborated with the Wooster City School District, Triway Local School District, and the State of Ohio, to provide a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) program to incentivize redevelopment of its historic center and also to support new basic-sector job creation. The CRA is a strategic real estate tax exemption tool which allows communities and private enterprise to partner to create economic-development projects that could not otherwise occur.

First Steps

The City of Wooster has a Community Reinvestment Area and Enterprise Zone which offer real estate tax exemption on the improved value of property resulting from a new construction of rehabilitation project. This program is available to support projects that could not otherwise occur but for public assistance, and is made possible in partnership with its top-rated Wooster City School District and Wayne County Schools Career Center, and the State of Ohio:

  • General Requirements:
    • Reserved for firms creating a substantial number of new basic-sector jobs (serving a national or global market) and/or for firms creatively reinvesting in older buildings or sites within Wooster's Downtown and Historic Areas, which require public assistance in order to move forward.
    • A job commitment is required per state requirements. Many projects commit 25 or more new jobs. (Jobs new to the State of Ohio). However, each project is unique.
    • Projects must commit to 2 years of job performance for every 1 year of exemption.
    • No relocation of jobs is permitted from anywhere within the State of Ohio as a result of the project at any time while the property is under exemption.
    • Exemption Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis and provided to support the individual needs of the project. Project terms have ranged from 2-years and 35% to 10 years and 75% for major industrial and commercial expansion projects. 
    • Tax exemption is discretionary and requires approval from Wooster City Council, the Wooster City School District*, the Wooster Growth Corporation*, and other independent local governments, along with the Ohio Department of Taxation and the Ohio Department of Development. This treatment is truly a community collaboration to invest and celebrate our entrepreneurs venturing to grow our economy.  
    • Note: Tax exemption is an important and necessary tool which allows communities to partner with private business on job-creating and reinvestment projects that could not otherwise happen. Tax exemption for one property may also influence tax bills for all other businesses and residents within a community and county. This is why exemption is reserved for exceptional projects that would not otherwise occur in Wooster. 
  • Learn More:
    • Please contact us! We would the opportunity to help explore options to make your expansion in Wooster possible!

We also encourage our applicants to have a relationship with Main Street Wooster and/or the Wayne Economic Development Council and the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce. JobsOhio and JumpStart also supports Wooster entrepreneurs and firms seeking to grow and expand. These independent and dynamic non-profit organizations are the City's partners in economic development, and offer a wealth of information for anyone seeking to start-up or expand in the CRA. 

Department Contacts

Development Coordinator

Commercial CRA Program

City of Wooster
PO Box 1128
538 N. Market St.
Wooster, Ohio 44691

(330) 263-5250