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Hamilton County commissioner wants to give homeowners the promised 30% tax rebate

Alicia Reece
Becca Costello
Hamilton County Commission Vice President Alicia Reece.

Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece wants to give homeowners the full 30% tax rebate that was promised years ago when the stadium tax was passed. Her proposal should get a vote at the board's regular meeting Thursday, along with the county administrator's recommendation for a much lower rebate.

The sales tax revenue is used to pay maintenance and debt service on bonds issued to pay for stadium construction. Commissioners started lowering the rebate about a decade ago to keep the sales tax fund solvent.

Reece says there's enough in the fund this year for the full 30%.

"I believe that every year that we can do it, we should do the maximum we can," Reece says. "Our goal should always be to reduce as much as we can the burden on the taxpayers and the homeowners, and doing it in a fiscally responsible way."

County Administrator Jeff Aluotto says the plan in recent years has been to increase the rebate a little each year until eventually reaching 30% again. He's recommending a 10% rebate, or about $28 per $100,000 dollars of home value.

Aluotto says a 30% rebate would zero out the fund within two years.

Reece says commissioners can adjust each year as needed.

"We can do it this year," she says. "And when next year gets here, we'll take a look. We'll be doing a new budget next year and we'll make the appropriate decision then."

Aluotto's recommended rebate for next year is about the same as it was in 2020. It's an increase from the most recent rebate, when commissioners reduced it because of the pandemic's impact on sales tax revenue.

At least two of the three commissioners must approve the rebate amount. Commissioner Denise Driehaus previously said she supports Aluotto's recommendation.

The board meets Thursday at 1 p.m.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.