Monday, July 13, 2009

Cincinnati’s Budget Situation Grows More Desperate

Cole, Harris creating fiscal crisis to justify tax hike
New Council member Greg Harris
has chosen to join Council coalition
spending Cincinnati into a $40 million hole

The budgetary mess created by City Council played out as fully expected over the past few weeks when four City labor unions rejected proposed furloughs that would have saved $4.2 million this year.

In June, Budget Committee Chairman Laketa Cole led a slim Council majority to patch the City’s $20 million budget hole by spending reserves down by $10 million, and claimed budget cuts of another $10 million including the entirely illusory savings from furloughs. Council violated its own rules requiring six votes to raid the reserves in order to continue the irresponsible spending unabated.

The rejection of the furlough days by the labor unions means that Council implemented less than $5.8 million in cuts for 2009, to fill the $20 million hole. COAST and Councilmember Chris Bortz reported here and here that the City is avoiding substantive budget cuts and inevitably preparing the City for a massive 2010 tax increase. The City administration has projected a shortfall of $40 million for next year.

COAST has asked Council candidates to take a pledge against raising taxes or imposing new fees during the coming Council term. To date, Council members Chris Monzel and Leslie Ghiz have taken the pledge along with challengers Charlie Winburn, George Zamary and Amy Murray.


  1. I'm so pleasantly surprised with Councilman Harris's rhetoric and voting record. That COAST is up in arms about him only further confirms my support for this great addition to our city council.

  2. This is a great chance for the city to raise taxes next year. With a $40 million shortfall to fill, and having spent their reserves now, what else can they do? We applaud Greg Harris for his efforts to ensure that higher taxes are coming to Cincinnati.

  3. UCstudent - is that the process by which you arrive at all your decisions?


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