Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Cincinnati Museum Center Demands $300 Million to Repair a Building

And wants to exempt themselves from the county's tax levy review process

The Commissioners have to deal with a last-minute request from The Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) to sneak a massive $300 million levy on the ballot. The CMC is seeking approximately $300 million (principal plus interest) to repair one building. As we noted in the last item, each Commission-controlled levy is required to go through their tax levy review process.

Shockingly, The CMC is disrespecting this process and expects the Commissioners to place their huge levy on the ballot without undergoing a formal review. COAST strongly opposes this request. Any entity seeking taxpayer money must go through a thorough review process before being placed on the ballot.

Due to The CMC's efforts to bypass the county's long-established review process, the Commissioners will have to make a decision without the ability to gather the facts. Therefore, the only responsible course of action is to deny the request for 2011, and invite the CMC to resubmit their proposal to the county in 2012 so that it may undergo the county's formal review process.

There are many substantive concerns as well. Tax dollars are finite, and $300 million is an extreme amount of money to repair one building. What happens if, a few years into the repair project, they "find" another $100 million in needed repairs? That scenario is fairly likely given that this is a building constructed in 1933 with major design flaws. Who would be responsible for the cost overruns? Taxpayers can't afford another Bengals stadium situation.

It should also be noted that the owner of this building is the City of Cincinnati. Yet county taxpayers are being asked, once again, to subsidize a city project. The county needs to ask itself why they are involved in this issue. Between $700 million to cover the stadium fund deficit and $300 million for this city building, Hamilton County taxpayers are facing $1 billion of higher taxes for toy buildings that don't serve any core government function. There are many questions that must be answered before the Commission can even consider advancing this issue to the ballot.


  1. I'm with you on this one COAST! We don't need any museums or educational attractions in the area!

  2. Except that wasn't what COAST said. They accurately pointed out that $300 million to repair 1 building is excessive. Hamilton County has no more blank checks to write.

  3. We have already endorsed this necessary tax increase. Spending $300 million to repair one building is a fantastic use of taxpayer money.

  4. Just think if COAST and their beloved car & oil companies hadn't been allowed to legislate the railroads out of the passenger rail side of their business after WWII. Then they would still own the building and it would be their responsibility to maintain it.

    Instead, COAST fully endorses the artificial government-created automobile dependence that destroyed our cities, made our citizens fat, burdens the middle class with debt, and casts out the lower class. Oh, and presently has us spending hundreds of billions per year to park 100,000 troops in the Middle East.

  5. Where is this $300 million figure coming from? Please state your source.

  6. $150 million Principal plus 30 years of interest.

  7. Way to go COAST good job and good luck


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