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Commissioners slice property tax rebate

Tana Weingartner

Hamilton County property taxes aren't going up but homeowners will be getting less money back next year.

Commissioners voted 2-1 to reduce the property tax rebate (PTR) homeowners receive.

The PTR was promised when voters approved a sales tax increase to build the Reds and Bengals stadiums.

Board President Greg Hartmann proposed the idea.

“I’m not happy about it but I think it’s the better of two evils. It reduces the property tax rebate by 50 percent for next year and puts us on footing to get this fund balanced for the future, to work with the teams,” he says.

Commissioner Chris Monzel - who last year voted to sell Drake Hospital rather than lower the PTR - also voted for the rollback.

“I promised not to raise taxes. I promised to keep the PTR resolved. I was put in a position that was diametrically opposed to each other. There was just no way I was going to walk out of here winning. What I tried to do was logically and analytically look at what was going to be the less burden in the shortest amount of time,” he says.

Commissioner Todd Portune voted against the PTR rollback. He favored raising the sales tax by a quarter cent. He says that would've been a long term solution to the stadium fund problem.

Commissioners Hartmann and Monzel, however, say that approach would've raised too much money, even with a proposed annual review process and sunset clause.