Hamilton County Commissioners To Set Property Tax Rebate Amount

Nov 21, 2016

Credit Provided / Hamilton County

Hamilton County Commissioners are expected to set the county's property tax rebate (PTR) amount for next year at a meeting Monday.  

Residential property owners were promised a refund as part of a ballot issue approved in 1996 to increase the sales tax by a half cent to pay for new stadiums.

"There's kind of, in my head, three paths," said County Commission President Chris Monzel. "Keep the same as we did last year, try to incrementally increase it, or we go full bore 100 percent. That will drain that PTR fund down, which will then hurt future years of trying to keep the PTR available."

The 1996 plan called for 30 percent of the sales tax collected in the stadium fund to be rebated to taxpayers. The amount has been less for several years because of recessions and lower-than-expected collections.  

The PTR was last fully-funded in 2012 when Commissioners Todd Portune and Monzel worked together on a deal to sell Drake Hospital.

County administrators want to keep the property tax rebate flat at $14 million. Monzel would like to increase it by another $500,000. Portune is again lobbying to restore it to the 30 percent mark.

County Administrator Jeff Aluotto said one reason for keeping it flat is an upcoming change in sales tax collections.  

Starting next June, Ohio will no longer be able to apply the sales taxes to Medicaid-managed care organizations in the state. Aluotto said that means reduced collections for the county.

"Any sort of fix the state can provide will help," Aluotto said. "But to the degree it's not dollar for dollar, to the degree it is temporary, that's obviously not going to help. Or it's going to hurt a little bit more."

The property tax rebate amounts to savings of about $50 per every $100,000 of property value. That number varies based on taxing districts in the county.

The stadium fund balance is also healthier because commissioners voted earlier this year to refinance the stadium bonds to save money on interest.