Thursday, December 26, 2002

Cincinnati tax plan to cost county

The Associated Press

CINCINNATI - The city's efforts to revitalize some of its inner-city neighborhoods will end up costing Hamilton County money.

City Council has approved tax increment financing districts in 11 neighborhoods that will cost the county $1.5 million in lost taxes next year - and probably more in the future. The neighborhoods will be designated as TIF districts.

Under the plan, additional taxes generated by new businesses, rising property values or other neighborhood improvements would be kept by the neighborhoods to help with future development. Currently, those taxes go to the county.

The property values in the neighborhoods are about $3.84 billion, county officials said. The county estimates it will lose $225,000 in property tax revenue, and $1.27 million in funds generated by tax levies.

Hamilton County Administrator David Krings said the plan will jeopardize county services or result in tax increases. He said TIF districts are supposed to be set up for specific projects, not general improvement.

Councilman John Cranley, who co-sponsored the proposal, said the move allows investors and business owners to keep money in their neighborhoods.

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