Hamilton County Commissioners

voting
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Hamilton County voters could see a couple of renewal property tax levies on the November ballot.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County commissioners have approved a 2019 budget. It's $18 million less than what would have been spent had it mirrored this year's spending plan.

Stephanie Summerow Dumas
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The woman who will be the third Democrat on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners says she will work hard for Democrats who supported her during the campaign. And Stephanie Summerow Dumas says she'll work harder for the Republicans who didn't because, "I represent everyone."

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Since it was created to offset a sales tax increase, Hamilton County's property tax rebate has gone up and down. That is to say property owners have received the full amount in some years and less in others. Commission President Todd Portune would like to bring some stability to the rebate, or at least give taxpayers what he says they have coming to them.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County commissioners have less than a month before they have to approve a 2019 general fund budget. Two of the three commissioners are releasing their takes on what the budget should look like.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County commissioners have more than a month left before they have to approve a 2019 general fund budget. They'd like to approve a spending plan before that though. At the third and final public hearing on the budget Tuesday night in Colerain Township, they heard "compelling testimony" and "cogent arguments" against some of the proposed cuts.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County's property owners might not get the same tax rebate in 2019 they did this year. County Administrator Jeff Aluotto is recommending a $5 million property tax rebate, instead of the full amount.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Todd Portune will be undergoing more chemotherapy. The Hamilton County commission president was hospitalized in April and his left leg removed to stop a tumor from spreading. Portune calls this chemotherapy "precautionary."

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

There are few surprises in the proposed 2019 Hamilton County budget. Commissioners knew for months there was a nearly $29 million deficit, and Administrator Jeff Aluotto warned repeatedly that without a new revenue source, balancing the budget would come down to cuts.

So, Monday's unveiling of Aluotto's proposed budget wasn't a huge shock to anyone. It includes roughly $21 million in cuts and $8 million in new revenue in the form of fee hikes.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Three townships in northwest Hamilton County could lose sheriff patrols. Hamilton County could go without preventive maintenance for 190 outdoor warning sirens. And the county's 911 emergency center could increase the fees it charges communities for answering calls.

WVXU

A Hamilton County Judge is, for now, blocking Cincinnati from raising water rates in unincorporated parts of Hamilton County.  

Seal of Hamilton County
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Hamilton County administrators are targeting a 2019 budget that's about $42 million less than what county departments requested.

It's also about $19.3 million less than what county leaders project to spend this year.

Courtesy the Banks Public Partnership

It's time to get moving on the proposed music venue at The Banks, according to county leaders. Hamilton County commissioners are directing the board's administration to proceed with negotiations on the southwestern lots of The Banks, known as lots 23, 27 and 28.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County voters won't get a chance this November to decide on whether they want to increase the sales tax next year. And they likely won't have to worry about paying two-tenths of a cent more during purchases in 2019 either. Commissioners rescinded the sales tax increase, under threat of a lawsuit.

aftax sales tax petition
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Hamilton County Republicans who mounted a petition drive to put an issue on the November ballot repealing a .02 percent increase in the sales tax marched into the county auditor's office with a tall stack of about 37,800 signatures Wednesday afternoon.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

An expected $28-million general fund budget deficit has Hamilton County commissioners looking for fixes. County Administrator Jeff Aluotto has explained the why, and one possible fix: a quarter-cent sales tax.

At Monday's staff meeting, Aluotto presented options for another revenue increase  - fee increases for cities and townships - and for spending cuts.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners have named six new people to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board. They replace all of the county's six previous appointees whose terms had expired.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Cincinnati Zoo should not ask for an increased property tax levy. That's the recommendation of a Hamilton County Tax Levy Review subcommittee. Chairwoman Jenny O'Donnell says while the zoo is an important part of the community, it isn't a life-sustaining priority.

Seal of Hamilton County
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Hamilton County commissioners have several budget proposals and not a lot of time to reconcile them. Board President Todd Portune wants a vote on Wednesday. He turned in his ideas Monday morning, admitting they weren't complete.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County's budget is facing challenges again. Revenue for the second quarter of the year isn't expected to meet projections. The county now expects to bring in about $2.2 million less than forecast for the second quarter of the year. The revised prediction comes as spending is also about $2.2 million more than budgeted.

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