Hamilton County Commissioners Against The Clock On Sales Tax Increase

The county administrator has recommended a sales tax increase of a quarter-cent per dollar.

(Hamilton County, Oh.) - Either drastic cuts will need to be made or taxes will need to be increased in order for Hamilton County government to avoid a $28 million deficit.

County administrator Jeff Aluotto told the Hamilton County Commissioners on Monday that the outlook for 2019 is not good with the impact reaching every county department.

The administrator has recommended a sales tax increase of a quarter-cent per dollar. If allowed, the county’s sales tax rate would increase from 7.0 percent up to 7.25 percent.

The commissioners could simply vote in the sales tax increase, or send it to the November ballot. They only have until May 9 to begin scheduling public hearings in June.

Departments would see funding cut by as much as 17 percent if there is no tax increase to create more revenue.

Republican county commissioner Chris Monzel said he is not in favor of raising taxes, but would also prefer to not lay off any employees. He suggested taking a closer look at what cuts would mean for each department.

Democratic commissioner Denise Driehaus said dealing with the large deficit will likely require both cuts and a tax increase. Her fellow Democratic commissioner, Todd Portune, is recovering from surgery but is likely to return in time to vote on the suggested tax increase.

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