city budget

Jay Hanselman

If all goes as planned, by the middle of this week Cincinnati Council will have approved an operating budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st.

Council's Budget and Finance Committee has special sessions set for Monday and Tuesday.  The group will be making final modifications to the spending plan Mayor John Cranley sent to Council on May 14th.  

There's a final public hearing Tuesday evening at 6 at Midway Elementary School on Glenmore Avenue.  

The full Council is scheduled to take a final vote on the budget Wednesday afternoon.  

Jay Hanselman

There was a larger turnout for Wednesday night's second public hearing on the proposed Cincinnati budget for the next fiscal year which starts July 1st.  

20 people addressed Council's Budget and Finance Committee during the session at the Oakley Community Center.  

Evanston Community Council President Anzora Adkins said she supports city funding for the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority.  She said it has done good work in her neighborhood.

Provided/City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati's proposed budget cuts funding for a program that guides revitalization and growth activities in some of the city's neighborhood business districts.  

The all-volunteer group has received about $1 to $3 million a year from the city for many years.  But the currently proposed spending plan cuts a large chunk of city capital money for Cincinnati Neighborhood Business District United.

Jay Hanselman

A small number of people showed up Wednesday night to speak about the proposed Cincinnati budget for the next fiscal year.  There were lots of empty chairs in the auditorium and only eight people offered testimony.

Some of them want continued funding for on road bicycle lanes.  The proposed budget could cut money for bike lane maintenance and eliminate dollars to build new ones.

Cincinnati budget officials are working to put together the city's spending plan for the next fiscal year.  Department heads will likely begin making presentations to Council about their budgets in two weeks.  

Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Charlie Winburn had suggested those half hour presentations start at the end of May.  But council members wanted more time for the process so the schedule was changed.

Council member Kevin Flynn asked for the additional time.  He said the previous schedule was not aggressive enough.

Cincinnati officials will be meeting with bond rating agencies next month to essentially determine the city's credit score for the coming year.  That bond rating determines how much it will cost the city to borrow money. 

Council Member Kevin Flynn said the process and the rating is important.

"Even if it's a quarter point, we're talking substantial dollars here if we get a reduction," Flynn said.

Right now the city's bond rating is AA, which is a step below the best of AAA.  City officials want to maintain the current rating. 

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati officials are showing a nearly $16 million General Fund deficit for the next budget year starting July 1st.

The information is contained in a tentative tax budget city council's Budget and Finance Committee will consider during a public hearing on January 6th.  The document must be provided to the Hamilton County Auditor by January 20th.  That office will use it to set the property tax millage rate for 2015 based on estimated property valuation.

Jay Hanselman

Six Cincinnati Council Members are ready to restore about $4 million to the recently approved city budget after better than anticipated revenue collections for May and June.  

The funds will be used for things like recreation, parks, human services and the health department.  Council Member Laure Quinlivan said there's added money for parks too, which was a popular topic during public hearings in May.

Jay Hanselman

Moody's Investors Service is downgrading Cincinnati's bond rating because of a new method for analyzing pension obligations.  

The city's general obligations bonds are now rated Aa2 instead of the previous Aa1.  Moody's also revised the city's outlook to negative.