Hamilton County Commissioners are unanimous - the 2014 budget won't include tax increases.
The County Administrator's recommended spending plan is out. The $204.1 million proposal is balanced and much the same as last year, though it is bigger. (The county administrator says the extra funds come from revenue improvements and other adjustments.) It calls for restoring some funding to the Sheriff's Department to make up for cuts caused by decreases in the Indigent Care levy. The Clerk of Courts, the Board of Elections and the Public Defender's office would also see their budgets increase. It does not call for any layoffs.
The proposed budget does not call for increasing the sales tax, though it does outline how doing so could help the county meet future economic development and public safety priorities.
Board president Chris Monzel says he doesn't support raising the sales tax.
"As we're coming out this economic downturn over the past few years, I think the last thing we need to do is to put a sales tax on right now," says Monzel. "We're just getting out of it, so let's make sure we're going to get out of it and not going to go back into a possible other recession depending on how the markets do over the next year or so."
Commissioners will retool the budget proposal before passing a final version, most likely in November.
Three public hearings are set for later this month:
- Tuesday, October 15, 6:30 pm at the Green Township Trustee's Main Meeting Room, 6303 Harrison Avenue
- Wednesday, October 23, 11 am during the Hamilton County Commissioner's Meeting, 138 East Court Street, Room 605
- Thursday, October 24, 6:30 pm at the City of Montgomery's Council Chambers, 10101 Montgomery Road