Urgent COAST call to action:
Please contact Hamilton County Commissioners to urge that they keep stadium property tax rollback
The drive for higher taxes and spending from the Hamilton County Commission under our liberal democrat Commissioners Todd Portune and David Pepper continues, this time with a vote in the coming weeks on elimination of the stadium property tax rollback, a massive tax hike on single family homeowners in Hamilton County.
Please contact your County Commissioners today to urge that they retain the property tax rollback, so the taxpayers are not screwed by the politicians in the stadium deals once again.
Todd Portune, (513) 946-4401, fax (513) 946-4446
David Pepper, (513) 946-4409, fax (513) 946-4407
Greg Hartmann, (513) 946-4405, fax (513) 946-4404
When running for office, both Portune and Pepper made solemn pledges that they would retain the property tax rollback. However, Portune and Pepper have since spent the stadium fund into the red, and they are now claiming a tax increase is their only option: read yesterday's articles in the Cincinnati Business Courier and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Consider this:
- Commissioners have spent more than $11 million on outside counsel from the stadium fund over the objections of Prosecutor Joe Deters and the Common Pleas Court Judges, who oversee outside counsel. Deters claims he can do the work for less money and the Commissioners actions are wasteful. Commissioners are so insistent on spending these monies on Thursday they sued the Commissioners at the Ohio Supreme Court to keep the money flowing to their favored counsel. (COAST reported here on how we intend to countersue the Commissioners over this illegal contract and spending.)
- Commissioners have committed to proceed with tens of millions of dollars of improvements and development subsidies at the Banks project from the Stadium Fund, knowing they did not have the ability to pay for these improvements without a tax hike.
- As COAST reported here, in August, rather than cut their profligate spending, Commissioners borrowed an additional $5.5 million to subsidize the stadium fund.
As COAST reported here, Commissioners Portune and Pepper have made it an article of faith, beyond mere fiscal considerations, that they would not eliminate the property tax rollback under any circumstances. Consider this unequivocal statement from Commissioner Pepper just one year ago:
Far beyond a debate over tax policy . . . this is a much more fundamental issue of basic governance, and adhering to the clear consent of the governed. In that light, I consider any move to divert dollars from the PTR to be a deeply illegitimate act. It lacks fundamental integrity. And it's simply not an option.
When Hamilton County voters passed the stadium sales tax in 1996, a key part of the bargain was that 30% of the revenue from the ½ cent sales tax would be devoted to property tax reduction. It is that rollback that is imperiled because of the poor fiscal policies of Portune and Pepper.
Memory has not yet dimmed of the treachery of Portune and Pepper in enacting the Super-Sized Jail Sales Tax increase in 2007 without a vote of the people, only months after a smaller tax was rejected at the polls. COAST and the WeDemandAVote.Com coalition successfully placed that issue before the voters with a petition drive, and defeated the massive tax increase.
COAST needs you urgently to contact Portune and Pepper and demand they keep their word, and retain the property tax rollback. Further, that they drop their suit to retain their expensive outside counsel, and curtail their over-spending. Finally, please contact Commissioner Greg Hartmann and thank him for keeping his word to retain the property tax rollback.