Hamilton County homeowners will get some more money back next year. Commissioners approved the full funding of the property tax rebate (PTR) Monday morning.
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. Because sales tax revenues have historically been lower than estimated, the rebate was lowered.
Fully funding the PTR will cost the county $24 million.
Commissioner Todd Portune says he respected the administration's recommendation to keep the rebate as is, but believes the county has a bright future.
"We are looking forward to, I think, additional recovery from the recession next year. I believe that our sales tax is going to continue to grow," Portune says. "I look at the work that's being done in the county and the wave of the development that I think we're on the cusp of entering into. I think that we're on a robust growth pattern and will continue to be for the next three to five years. And that's going to help our sales tax fund as well."
Portune and Chris Monzel voted in favor of fully funding the rebate. Dennis Deters voted to maintain the 2016 level. That was the recommendation from the county administrator.
"There will be time down the road to deliver on that promise once things stabilize as far as the funding mechanism is concerned from the sales tax," Deters says.
County Administrator Jeff Aluotto recommended keeping the PTR amount at $14 million. He made his recommendation based partially on an expected change in sales tax collections. Ohio will no longer be able to apply sales tax to Medicaid-managed care organizations starting in June 2017.
The last time the property tax rebate was fully funded was in 2012.