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Cincinnati Likely To Opt For Lower Property Tax Rate

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council is likely to ask the Hamilton County auditor to set a millage rate that collects about $29 million of property tax revenue for the general fund budget.  

The Budget and Finance Committee approved that proposal Monday and the full council will vote Wednesday.  

The decision means the city will be facing at least a $12 million deficit for the fiscal year which starts July 1.  

Mark Quarry with the Cincinnati Board of Realtors supports a lower millage rate.

"Property owners are the ones that deserve almost the most benefit to not having property tax increases because they're the ones that live here," Quarry said. "They're the ones that stay here or have stayed here."

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld also supports a lower rate.

"We should not be raising property taxes because they're already too high and we should reward, not punish, the people who say we want to live in the city of Cincinnati."

City administrators again unsuccessfully this year asked council to increase the tax rate to the 6.1 mills allowed in the city charter.  In time, that would generate about $5 million of additional money for the general fund budget.

Council Member Chris Seelbach was supportive of that option

"We continue to have a revenue problem, which requires us to cut very important services and jobs every year that the public does not benefit from and is harmed by," Seelbach said. "We're going to have to continue to cut more jobs and service this June as a result of our deficit."

Since 2000, council has opted for the "rollback" policy of setting a millage rate to keep property tax collections at around $29 million.

The Budget and Finance Committee will start receiving budget presentations from all city departments in two weeks.  

The city manager is expected to have a budget ready to present to the mayor and council sometime in May.


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Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.