Hamilton County Residents Won't See Utility Service Tax

Feb 10, 2016

Commissioners have rejected a proposed utility service fee that would have helped fund the 911 dispatch center.
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The proposed utility service tax for Hamilton County is not a feasible option and won't be enacted, according to the president of the county commissioners. 

Chris Monzel says he'll present another way to fund the 911 dispatch center soon.  He says it will offer relief to communities currently finding ways around high fees.

“The detail rate will be reduced in the second half of the year for townships and villages and cities in Hamilton County, from $20 to $15. So it’ll provide some relief, but we are going to have to dip in to our carry-over balance and our reserves.”

Communities that use the dispatch center are charged a fee for each call to 911.

Some townships and villages have been promoting different emergency numbers to lower the amount they pay.  That in turn was contributing to a budget crunch for the dispatch center.

The utility service fee was among several recommendations from a task force. It was projected to bring in $3.5 million dollars this year.

“We have to, when we start budgeting here, in June, come up with how we’re going to make up that shortfall,” Monzel says. “What departments are going to get cut? And they will. If we can’t do it any other way we will have to cut departments.”

Monzel says the board will consider a new resolution next week.