In a clear display of the power of COASTers to impact public policy, even with liberal democrats in control, today the Hamilton County Commission voted 2-1 to retain the Stadium Property Tax Rollback at least for one more year. The overwhelming response to the COAST Action Alert really worked!
COAST was joined today at a hearing of the Hamilton County Commission by the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors as being the two lone voices in favor of keeping the full property tax rollback. Of course, COAST's message was bolstered by the dozens of calls, letters and e-mails over the past two weeks to Commission offices demanding that they retain the rollback.
The County's administration had recommended postponing the annual $5 million payment to Cincinnati Public Schools, and eliminating 40% of the rollback for 2010 as ways to close a $13.8 million hole in the Stadium Fund for 2010. Now, Commissioners Hartmann and Portune are working to close the remaining $7.2 million gap (other savings were found by the administration elsewhere).
Despite his solemn and repeated promises to retain the rollback at all costs, David Pepper flip-flopped on the issue and today called for eliminating 40% of the rollback. Pepper told us just a year ago that he considers "any move to divert dollars from the Property Tax Rollback to be a deeply illegitimate act." Yet, today, he voted in favor that that very deeply illegitimate act that he promised he never would. Yes, David Pepper lied to the voters of Hamilton County.
Greg Hartmann introduced a resolution to fully fund the rollback and address the deficit in the Stadium Fund in other ways. Todd Portune reluctantly joined in voting for the Hartmann resolution.Please call and write - again! Please call or e-mail Commissioners Hartmann (946-4405) and Portune (946-4401) and thank them for retaining the rollback. Please also call or e-mail David Pepper (946-4409) and tell him you know he broke his promise to Hamilton County taxpayers.
COASTers Jason Gloyd and Chris Finney testified today before the Commission, pointing out these repeated prior promises and the intentional policy of just the past few years to fund Banks spending from a Stadium Fund Commissioners know is bankrupt, quoting from democrat Dusty Rhodes' letter (click on "May 20, 2009 - Statement on 'The Banks.'") of earlier this year, warning Commissioners their continued over-spending was putting the stadium fund at risk. When the Stadium sales tax was approved in 1996, a firm promise was made that 30% of the sales tax revenue would be devoted exclusively to property tax relief for owner-occupied single family homes. It was that promise that was again kept today (at least for one more year).
Thank you for your help!!!