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City property tax rates to remain the same in 2016

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Jay Hanselman
/
WVXU

The full Cincinnati Council will vote Wednesday on a tentative tax budget that keeps the city's property tax rates for 2016 the same as this year.  

A committee approved the document Monday which must be submitted to the Hamilton County Auditor's office by January 16.  

Council Member Chris Seelbach voted against the tentative tax budget.

“We don’t have the full picture yet for me to say definitely this is the right way to go,” Seelbach said.

There was some discussion about the number of tax abatements and reductions for some residential and commercial projects.  Council Member Yvette Simpson said the issues need to be reviewed.

“We need to decide on a structure and go with that structure,” Simpson said.  “But right now we’re getting robbed.  I just feel like our general fund is getting robbed.  So we need to find a better way.”

The city collects about $29 million for the general fund from property taxes.  

The majority of the budget comes from the city's earnings tax.  Budget official Mark Ashworth said the city is expecting that line item to increase by $10 million.

“We are not only heavily dependent on the income tax,” Ashworth said.  “Within that we are heavily reliant upon the individual worker.”

It is expected city officials will have to close a four million dollar deficit for the fiscal year that starts July 1.  But that number is lower than recent years when the budget hole was more than $20 million.