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Cincinnati's Property Tax Rate Will Not Be Increasing

city hall
Bill Rinehart

Cincinnati homeowners will not see the city portion of their property tax bills increase in 2020.  

A council committee voted Thursday to hold those revenues at about $29 million.  
The decision means city administrators will be facing at least a $19 million general operating fund deficit for the fiscal year, which starts July 1st.  

Council Member Tamaya Dennard supported the decision.

"I don't think the appetite is there for any of us to raise the taxes this go around because we do recognize that taxes are way too high," Dennard said.

The city has been collecting about the same amount of property tax money since 2000, and it's lower than what's allowed by the city charter.  

Council member P.G. Sittenfeld also supports the lower amount.

"Choosing to live in Cincinnati - no one is forced to live here - and the people who chose to live here should almost get the best treatment, not the worst treatment," Sittenfeld said. "Which means not treating them like ATMs when budget deficit do emerge."

The charter says the city can collect 6.1 mills from property owners for the general fund budget. Had council approved that rate, the city would have collected an additional $5.3 million in 2020.

Instead, the city will have a general fund property tax rate of 5.16 mills and collect $28.88 million in 2020.

Supporters say it keeps homeowners from paying more as property values increase.  

But opponents say it prevents the city from collecting needed revenue to pay for basic services.  

The full council will vote on the property tax rate next week.

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.