Hamilton County Commissioners

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

An expected $28-million general fund budget deficit has Hamilton County commissioners looking for fixes. County Administrator Jeff Aluotto has explained the why, and one possible fix: a quarter-cent sales tax.

At Monday's staff meeting, Aluotto presented options for another revenue increase  - fee increases for cities and townships - and for spending cuts.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners have named six new people to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board. They replace all of the county's six previous appointees whose terms had expired.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Cincinnati Zoo should not ask for an increased property tax levy. That's the recommendation of a Hamilton County Tax Levy Review subcommittee. Chairwoman Jenny O'Donnell says while the zoo is an important part of the community, it isn't a life-sustaining priority.

Seal of Hamilton County
Provided / Hamilton County

Hamilton County commissioners have several budget proposals and not a lot of time to reconcile them. Board President Todd Portune wants a vote on Wednesday. He turned in his ideas Monday morning, admitting they weren't complete.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County's budget is facing challenges again. Revenue for the second quarter of the year isn't expected to meet projections. The county now expects to bring in about $2.2 million less than forecast for the second quarter of the year. The revised prediction comes as spending is also about $2.2 million more than budgeted.

There's an effort underway to prevent taxes to fund new stadiums in Hamilton County. Activist Jeff Capell and attorney Tim Mara have started a group called No More Stadium Taxes. They told county commissioners they don't want the owners of FC Cincinnati or U.S. Bank Arena to receive "corporate welfare" to build new facilities.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners have submitted their proposals as the county administrator prepares to introduce a spending plan for the rest of 2017. The board adopted a continuing budget in January to give new Commissioner Denise Driehaus input with her priorities.

Shake-Up In Hamilton County Tax Levy Review Committee

Feb 22, 2017
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The group that recommends whether tax levies make it to the ballot in Hamilton County has six new members. The County Commissioners approved the changes to the Tax Levy Review Committee on a 2-1 vote.

Hamilton County Commissioners want Cincinnati's leaders to get moving on some changes for Metropolitan Sewer District. They unanimously passed a resolution calling on the City of Cincinnati to implement the recommendations of the Rate Affordability Task Force.

Sarah Ramsey

Hamilton County Commissioners have approved a measure that would set a zero tolerance policy on odors for the Metropolitan Sewer District.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County has a new Board of Commissioners. Only one of the three members is actually new, but the election of Denise Driehaus did lead to a shake-up. Driehaus is a Democrat and her victory in November gave control of the board to her party.

Commissioners met Monday afternoon at the newly renovated Memorial Hall to elect Todd Portune as president and Driehaus as vice president.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Denise Driehaus starts her new job as Hamilton County Commissioner today. Even though she won't take the ceremonial oath of office until Thursday, the former state representative has been sworn in.

In November, she defeated incumbent Republican Dennis Deters to give Democrats control of the board for the first time in six years.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials hope to have a full-time housing court up and running by next fall. But, first, they must get the Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio legislature to sign off on it.

Seal of Hamilton County
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.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Homeowners occasionally refinance their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates to save money. 

The Hamilton County Commissioners just did essentially the same thing Wednesday with the bonds it issued back in the 1990's to build Paul Brown Stadium, Great American Ball Park and other riverfront improvements.

provided / Cincinnati Connects

A request for local matching funds to connect some bike trails in Hamilton County failed to get support from commissioners.  Cincinnati Connects had originally asked commissioners to commit to $360,000 for three trail projects.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Correction: Jim O'Reilly is a volunteer professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.   

Duke Energy plans to build a gas pipeline through Hamilton County and commissioners say the first they heard of it was when neighbors complained.

Trying to put the Department of Job and Family Services out of business - that's how Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune describes the goal of the Ohio Healthier Buckeye Council. 

Hamilton County Human Resources

Hamilton County Commissioners are debating what to do with what could be up to $60 million in surplus levy funds. 

Commissioners approved a $22.5 million settlement Wednesday between Hamilton County Job and Family Services (JFS) and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Correction, 10:17 a.m.: funding for the Sharonville Convention Center was for a future expansion study, not for furniture.

Original story:  

Visitors to Hamilton County were up last year thanks in part to the All-Star Game. On the whole, the amount of revenue from an occupancy tax has been steadily increasing since 2009.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A survey hints at a sales tax ballot issue from the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. SORTA asked a sampling of Hamilton County residents if they would vote for a sales tax to support public transportation.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Update 2:40 p.m.

Hamilton County Commission President Chris Monzel says “The city’s repeated and flagrant disregard of its obligations stated very clearly under the 2014 Federal Court Order made today’s court action necessary. “We respectfully ask the court to enforce its previous order and allow Hamilton County to bring accountability and transparency which are so badly needed in MSD operations.”

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Chris Monzel says the state of the county is strong.  The Hamilton County commission president delivered the annual State of the County address Thursday. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The proposed utility service tax for Hamilton County is not a feasible option and won't be enacted, according to the president of the county commissioners. 

Sarah Ramsey

Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost is launching a special audit of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County leaders have strong words about how Cincinnati runs the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).  Their remarks came after an Enquirer report alleging mismanagement and possible overspending. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County Administrator Christian Sigman turned in his resignation last week. Now county leaders are talking about how to find his replacement. 

Hamilton County Commissioners expected to wrap up the annual performance review for administrator Christian Sigman on Monday, Feb. 1, but it may be a moot point.  Sigman has submitted his resignation, effective in September. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County's Board of Elections director wants more poll workers for Election Day; and some of those workers could come from the senior classes at local high schools.

Director Sherry Poland says she encourages companies to give employees a paid day-off to work the polls.  Poland says the ideas aren't new.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil wants to buy 230 body cameras for deputies.  But first he has to come up with the money.  The Sheriff's Office received a Department of Justice grant, and can use restricted funds to buy the cameras, but the service agreement and storage costs are not yet covered.

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