Utility tax could come to Hamilton

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - When you pay your utilities in the City of Hamilton, the money goes to fund economic development projects.

"What we're doing is setting out a separate rate for economic development on each of the five utilities that we have," said  Hamilton Finance Director Bill Moeller.
Moeller says after last years budget cuts, the economic development department has downsized dramatically and this specified tax would be a shot in the arm the department desperately needs. The utility office proposed the idea at Wednesday's council meeting.
"The City of Hamilton like many other cities, has been hit really hard by the economy and this is one way that we can do things to increase economic activity," Moeller said.
So, how would the utility tax cost you?
"About a $1.06 a month $13 a year," Moeller said.
People we talked to who live in Hamilton say they're willing to pay just a modest increase as long as it helps build up their community.
"I mean if it's going to help improve the city, great, because I've lived here in Hamilton probably since I've been 11," said resident Jeannette Chamberlain.
Chamberlain says the utilities in Hamilton are already much lower than surrounding cities but she does have some doubts.
"My concern is with the elderly, the retirees that's on a fixed income, how's that going to effect their budget," Chamberlain said.
How much revenue the tax would generate is still unknown, but the City's utility office has already sent out letters to local business informing them of the proposed rate change.
Copyright 2010 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.