Cincinnati residents should soon be receiving their property tax bills, and already city council is working to set the rate for 2015.
The city still wants to collect about $29 million in revenue from property taxes for operating expenses, and so the actual tax rate will decrease slightly from this year.
Vice Mayor David Mann tried to increase operating revenue by a half-million dollars, but his plan was rejected. He said it is about what resident expect.
“A city that has a full basket of services that continues to make this a viable, vibrant community where people want to live,” Mann said. “To say that we have to be locked into a particular policy if it’s having obvious negative impacts on the budget, seems to me to be something that is a disservice and not what our citizens expect.”
Some council members blamed state leaders for the city's budget woes. But not Christopher Smitherman.
“We can sit here, have political temper tantrums around what we don’t have and what somebody else did,” Smitherman said. “But for two years this council has known what the game plan was and elected not to make changes.”
Council must send a tentative tax budget to the Hamilton County Auditor by January 20th. That office will use the document to certify the actual rates later this year.
Council will approve a budget at the end of June. Right now city officials are projecting about an $18 million deficit in the city's General Fund, which covers most basic services like police, fire and public works.