Commissioners to decide on property tax rollback

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The clock is ticking for county commissioners to make the final call on the property tax rebate; a cutback promised to taxpayers in 1996 that was reinstated last year.

"I'd be shocked honestly if we've come to a decision on the 21st," County Commissioner Todd Portune said.

Both Portune and Chris Monzel believe the property tax rollback must be preserved.

"I want to do that," Hartmann said. "That's why as much as I could come up with, we committed to restoring 20 percent of it. We can't pay for the rest."

The property tax issue had become the major sticking point of the stadium fund deficit discussion.

"We need [the decision] immediately," County Auditor Dusty Rhodes said. "Nov 30th is the drop dead date."

"It's a complex issue and one that landed in our laps," Portune said. "We didn't create this. We're trying to solve it."

Hartmann agreed saying, "We inherited a lot of problems in the stadium fund that were created by others but we can't whine about it, complain about it, and wish it were something different. We've got to deal with the reality and do it in a responsible way."

"It's huge in that we've got to know how much of a property tax rebate to apply," Rhodes said. "Of course the other thing is trying to figure out how they're going to dig out of the hole they're in … I think everybody's interested in that."

"There's still a lot more work to be done," Portune admitted.

At the end of the day, however, Portune believes having three different proposed plans is actually a good thing.

"It demonstrates that you've got a board that is trying as hard as it can to come to a solution and we're still trying to do that," Portune said.

"We have to," Hartmann added. "We're elected to balance budgets, live within our means, and be financially responsible."

Hartmann hopes to make a final decision on the matter during Monday's commissioner meeting.

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