Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Local projects in new state budget


        A compromise forged largely by House Democrats and Senate Republicans produced a budget with more the 700 projects, including spending for:

        • Parks in Independence, Taylor Mill, Covington and Boone County.

        • Street projects in Florence, Highland Heights, Walton, Alexandria, Fort Thomas, Park Hills, Villa Hills and Crescent Springs.

        • A museum at Big Bone Lick State Park in Boone County.

        • Community centers in Dayton and Bellevue.

        • Improvements to the senior center in Elsmere.

        • And $4 million to begin the conversion of the L&N Bridge between Cincinnati and Newport to a pedestrian walkway.

        The budget includes a 6-percent tax on out-of-state long-distance phone calls, expected to raise more than $80 million over the next two years. Republicans, who came up with the phone tax, said the Democrats' original budget would have raised taxes by nearly $600 million, including an increase of 7 cents per gallon in the gas tax.

        “We held the line on more than $500 million in new taxes,” said Senate President Pro Tem Sen. Dick Roeding, R-Lakeside Park.


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