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Should Hamilton County Raise Property Transfer Fee To Pay For 911?

Hamilton County Communications Center
Hamilton County Communications Center

Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune says there appears to be some support for increasing the property transfer fee to help pay for 911 services.

The proposed 2018 general fund budget includes a one mil increase, roughly an extra $100 per $100,000 of property value on a home sale. The tax is at three mils or $300 per $100,000 of property value.

The increase would generate about $3.7 million for maintenance and improvements to 911 services at the county Communications Center.

Portune says he's met with local police chiefs who are open to an increase of some kind "so long as there is a real plan on how to identify how the costs of dispatch and the needs of the Communications Center are going to be met long-term."

Commissioner Chris Monzel opposes the increase. Commissioner Denise Driehaus hasn't made a decision.

The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors wants Ohio legislators to increase mobile phone surcharges instead, but the general assembly isn't scheduled to take up that proposal until sometime next year.

Crime Lab Update

Artist rendering of the new Crime Lab.
Credit Provided / Hamilton County
Hamilton County
Artist rendering of the new Crime Lab.

Hamilton County expects to close later this week on the property for a new crime lab. County Administrator Jeff Aluotto says the purchase price for the proposed Blue Ash site is about $2.1 million.

The Board of County Commissioners appropriated $5 million Monday to cover the purchase and pay for design and project management fees.

The total cost of the new lab to be built on Carver Woods Drive is $55 million.

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.