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Stadium fund: 'between a rock and a hard place'

Michael Keating

It's down to either raising the sales tax or reducing the property tax rebate.Those are the two options  Hamilton County Commissioners are considering to solve the stadium fund problem.

Commissioner Todd Portune's plan calls for increasing the sales tax a quarter cent. He says the increase could include a sunset provision - something the current half cent stadium tax doesn't.

{Portune spoke with Maryanne Zeleznik about his proposal, and why other ideas won't work, for Sunday's Big Story.}

Portune also proposes regular reviews to see if the increase is still needed.

"The bottom line is this community agreed to raise a certain amount of money and we haven't done it. We need to raise that amount of money in order to cover all of the obligations that are in the program that is paid for out of the sales tax fund," he says.

Board President Greg Hartmann says raising the sales tax is "bold." He's introducing a second option, reducing the property tax rebate by 50 percent to balance the fund for two years.

"I think clear to my way of thinking in the four years that I've wrestled with this issue, there are no other options than reducing the property tax (rebate) or raising the sales tax," he says.

Commissioner Chris Monzel doesn't like either solution. He's looking at ways to adjust the stadium fund budget and patch the hole for another year.

The board is scheduled to vote on a plan Wednesday.