Budget deficit looms in Butler County; Sales tax increase possible

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Butler County is $4 million in the hole and advisers say until cuts are made, that number continues to grow by the thousands.

"We have a budget problem and a revenue decline," said Larry Brueshaber,  a member of the county's budget workgroup.

The possibility of furloughs and massive cuts across the board hang in the balance as commissioners try to plug the budget gap.
"We're in very tough items, we need to make tough decisions," said Commissioner Greg Jolivette.
At Thursday morning's commissioners meeting members of the budget work group urged commissioners to create a committee of business leaders to help solve the county's budget woes.
"We could offer some ideas to help save, outsourcing some of this stuff," Brueshaber said.
Jolivette told members that in order to create a permanent fix for long term budget, increasing the county $6 .25 sales tax may need to considered.
"Not in the short-term, but in the long term, with two avenues to build up reserves and also to pay down some debt, " Jolivette said.
But, officeholders say increasing the sales tax won't happen on their watch.

"I will not be part of any entity that's going to tell the taxpayers that they need to slug some more to the government because we can't live within our means," said Judge Sharon Kennedy, another member of the county's  budget work group.

Commissioners say they're confident that the will make a decision on the budget next week.

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