stadium fund

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

As expected, Hamilton County Commissioners approved the 2015 general fund budget Monday. The spending plan is much the same as 2014's.

Commission President Chris Monzel says "the public themselves are not going to see any hit to the services that they're receiving. So it should be no difference from this year to next year."

The $201.6 million budget keeps spending mostly flat. There's an increase for economic development and 9-1-1 dispatch fees will go up 5 percent. Police and fire agencies opposed that increase.

The Cincinnati Bengals are a step closer to getting that new scoreboard. Hamilton County is reviewing bids to replace the scoreboard and control room.

County finance specialist Erica Riehl expects the total will be about $10 million based on bids the county received.

The county is required to pay for the upgrade, however, under a bargain struck last year, the Bengals are chipping in $2.5 million.

The contract will likely be awarded by the end of the year.

For every $100,000 worth of property value, Hamilton County homeowners will get about $46 back on their tax bills next year.

Hamilton County Commissioners plan to vote Wednesday on the size of the property tax rebate homeowners will receive next year.

The PTR was promised to taxpayers when the sales tax was increased to fund the new Reds and Bengals stadiums.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann is floating a plan that would fund the PTR at $12 million.

"This year the property tax rebate was $10 million distributed to people that own property in Hamilton County," says Hartmann. "Next year it will be $12 million, which will be divvied up. It's about $42 per $100,000 of (property) value."

Michael Keating

Hamilton County Commissioners could take the first steps Wednesday toward balancing the stadium fund for the next five years.

The plan is much the same as last year, but involves a different bank and a three-year deal. Essentially the board would take out an insurance policy with PNC Bank to cover the bulk of the debt and fund what's left from county reserves.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County property taxes aren't going up but homeowners will be getting less money back next year.

Commissioners voted 2-1 to reduce the property tax rebate (PTR) homeowners receive.

The PTR was promised when voters approved a sales tax increase to build the Reds and Bengals stadiums.

Board President Greg Hartmann proposed the idea.

Michael Keating

It's down to either raising the sales tax or reducing the property tax rebate.

Michael Keating

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune is recommending a quarter cent sales tax increase to stabilize the stadium fund. His plan would also preserve the full property tax rebate promised to voters in the mid-90's.

The board is dealing with a $7 million gap. The proposal would increase the sales tax from 6.5% to 6.75%. Here's how Hamilton County's sales tax rate compares with Ohio's other 87 counties.

Michael Keating

Hamilton County Commissioners are moving forward with a plan to shore up the struggling stadium fund for another year.

Essentially the board is taking out an insurance policy to cover the bulk of the debt and fund what's left from county reserves. It'll cost about $300,000.

Tana Weingartner

Hamilton County Commissioners are considering a proposal that would cover the projected 2013 deficit in the stadium fund.