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County Approves Property Tax Rebate, License Plate Fee

Bill Rinehart

Hamilton County Commissioners approved a higher than recommended property tax rebate (PTR) at Wednesday's meeting. The PTR was created to offset the stadium sales tax.

Hamilton County Administrator Jeff Aluotto had recommended setting the rebate at $10 million, which is 45 percent of the full amount. That would equate to property owners getting back just over $37 for every $100,000 of property value. Aluotto blamed the ending of the Medicare managed care sales tax for declining revenues.

Board President Todd Portune wants the amount to be higher and proposed $16.9 million, which is 75 percent of the full amount. His resolution also calls on the administration and the board to do a mid-year review of the PTR.

"And if that mid-year review will allow for us to increase the amount of the calculated PTR for 2018, anywhere from where it exists today up to 100 percent of value, we're going to push and work as hard as we can to see if we can do that. And if so, the board will take action mid-year."

His resolution passed unanimously.

License Plate Fee

The cost of a license plate in Hamilton County will go up by $5. Commissioners approved on a 3-0 vote the adoption of a license plate fee to help with funding road and bridge projects, including the replacement of the Western Hills Viaduct.

Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU
A list of projects identified by the Hamilton County Engineer that would benefit from the $5 license plate fee.

Commissioner Driehaus says the resolution also calls for yearly reports on how the money will be spent. "Half of it goes to the viaduct. The other half goes to other projects throughout the county, in Colerain Township and Green Township and all over, because we have so many bridges and roads that are in disrepair. We need to get to those sooner rather than later."

There is a sunset clause in the resolution. Portune says "After the purposes of the resolution are met, this addition fee will sunset and expire and can only continue if a future board of county commissioners were to take action."

Because of state statutes, the change won't take effect until January 2019.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.