Today Councilmember Leslie Ghiz renounced her prior support of Cincinnati's streetcar proposal. City Council got the news yesterday of an $11 million tax shortfall this year and a deficit of up to $40 million next year. "My support for this project came at a much different economic time," Ghiz said, "I'd love to continue this support but in good conscience cannot considering our financial predicament."
Keep in mind we're also $1.2 billion behind in our pension fund, we're facing $2-3 billion in sewer projects to comply with a federal court order, revenues are down, and Mayor Mallory raided the emergency fund in the last budget cycle to cover basic operating expenses.
Council's authorization was contingent on private donations of $32 million. So far less than $3,000 has been raised. To close the gap, the Mayor has proposed selling our street lights, airport, and water works (i.e. essential city assets). Last year he proposed to sell the traffic lights and tax trash collection for the 1st time ever, but citizen outrage shut him down.
There's no point spending $185 million on a luxury when we can't meet our obligations for necessities.