Commissioner Hartmann: Pay for stadiums using indigent funds

by Dan Wells email | bio

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann has plan to pay for our sports stadiums.

He says he wants to move funds from Hamilton County's indigent care levy to the stadium fund.

"We have to fix this things and it involves a lot more than just my proposal today, the teams are going to play a lead role in solving this and they are negotiating with us currently," said Hartmann.

That is $20 million worth of taxpayer money.

"In light of state and federal funding that already exists, we need to re-examine whether that subsidy is appropriate and a decision like this is the only way to balance this stadium issue without raising taxes," said Hartmann.

Hartmann says healthcare systems across Ohio already provide millions of dollars of charity care every year without a countywide tax levy support.

Those providing that healthcare disagree.

"That doesn't sound appropriate, how many other funds are that important to healthcare and peoples health and it doesn't seem right to me," said Dr. Eric Warm with University Hospital.

Dr Warm says the 26.2 million dollar "indigent care levy" is crucial for the area's most at risk population.

"There is a tremendous need, I work in a safety-net practice and we have so many patients that want to come see us the waiting list is very long it will only be worse obviously if the tax levy wasn't there," said Dr. Warm.

Hartmann presented his idea to the county's tax levy review committee Monday afternoon without the support of his fellow commissioners.

The next levy renewal vote will be in November 2011.

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