MGM Northfield Park, a racino (racetrack plus casino) in Northfield area of Ohio, has announced that it will pay more than $15 million to Nordonia Hills City School District over a period of six years to settle a property tax dispute.
Laws in Ohio, a state in the Midwestern region of the U.S., allow public schools and other taxing authorities to contest values of assessed properties that have already been were determined by local officials. Nordonia Hills City School District used its powers to do the same.
When Nordonia Hills challenged MGM Northfield Park’s assessed property value, the operator (MGM Resorts) agreed to negotiate a new tax payment with the K-12 school district.
Joe Clark, superintendent of Nordonia Hills City School, said, “As a good steward of community tax dollars, the Nordonia Hills City School District monitors commercial and industrial property values annually to determine if the fiscal officer’s assessed values are reasonable.”
The K-12 school district, located fifteen 15 miles southeast of Cleveland, challenged the Summit County property records that valued the 80-acre property at $4.5 million. The school district argued that the previous assessment didn’t include the property’s casino building and its adjacent 29-acre parking lot.
Fort deciding a new assessment and determining new payment, the school district and the gaming property’s operator worked together. The two sides agreed on annual payment of $2.5 million through 2026 or $15 million in total. School district official also revealed that the funds would be used to address long-term facility enhancements. It may be noted here that Nordonia Hills City School District was the only public education system in the County without a capital improvement fund.
The Northfield racino offers video lottery gaming (VGT) machines and a 65,000-square-foot gaming space equipped with nearly 2,300 gaming terminals. The land and physical assets of the property are owned by real estate investment trust, called MGM Growth Properties.
MGM Growth Properties became the owner of the massive gaming property in 2019 when it acquired it from Hard Rock International in exchange for a cash payment of more than $1 billion.
In terms of gross gaming revenue (GGR), MGM Northfield Park is counted among Ohio’s top racinos. Priod to the Covid-19 pandemic, the venue garnered more than $256 million from gambling enthusiasts. For the 2021 fiscal year (July 2020 to June 2021), it generated $243.1 million in GGR.