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Commission VP Alicia Reece Says Finding Immediate Economic Relief A Top Priority

Tana Weingartner
Alicia Reece (center) during her swearing-in ceremony to the Hamilton County Board of Commission with fellow commissioners Stephanie Summerow Dumas (left) and Denise Driehaus (right).

Updated: Jan. 28, 3:30 p.m.

Newly installed Hamilton County commission Vice President Alicia Reece intends to create a task force focused on economic recovery. Commissioners are expected to vote on Reece's proposal on Tuesday. 

The group will be tasked with creating a "one stop" for finding information on all the types of assistance available to people.

"The other thing we're going to be looking at," Reece said during her second commission meeting, "is how do we give the taxpayer a break? I want to look at what can be done as it relates to property taxes."

She notes Hamilton County recently sent out new property tax revaluations, which for many homeowners, was a value increase, leading to questions about the possibility of higher taxes.

"People are saying, 'How are (we) going to do that?' If some of them are just getting back to work; some have not been to work... Unemployment is really high and small businesses are certainly getting hit very, very hard," says Reece.

She says the county could reach out to the governor to discuss the possibility of executive action to help people as bills and debts mount.

She adds she's already getting requests to help with sewer rates and bills, as well.

"I'd like to get going rolling up our sleeves so we can start providing some help in January, some help in February, so people can get some relief right now ... moving forward with that is going to be one of my top priorities."

After that, she wants to look at some long term or permanent assistance possibilities similar to programs funded by the CARES Act "so that we move our county forward as we move out of this cloud in the future."

This story was originally published Jan. 7 and has been updated.