Property Tax Rollback

Posted in: College Hill Forum
As a candidate for Cincinnati City Council I would be interested in knowing what the residents of College Hill think is the best Property Tax Relief plan now being debated by City Council.

There are two competing plans, one sponsored by Councilmember Heimlich and the other by Mayor Roxanne Qualls. The Heimlich plan would offer all property owners in the City of Cincinnati a rollback. The owner of a $90,000 home would receive a rollback of $14 dollars per year. I think it is important to note that the Heimlich plan would only return 38% of the total dollars in property tax rollback to homeowners. That is because only 38% of Cincinnatians own their homes. 62% of the money would go to business property owners and owners of apartment building properties.

The Qualls proposal, which I support, targets all money going to property tax relief to CINCINNATI HOMEOWNERS. Business property and apartment building property owners would not receive any relief. The Mayor's plan involved utilizing one-half of any year end budget surplus for homeowner property tax credits. The projected surplus for 1999 is estimated at $18 million and would, if adopted by Council, result in $9 million dollars in property tax credit for Cincinnati homeowners. The same owner of a $90,000 home under the Qualls plan would receive a tax credit of $152.23, instead of the $14.00 under the Heimlich plan.

I believe if we are serious about both retaining homeowners and encouraging new homeowners in Cincinnati we have to target homeowners for property tax relief. The Qualls plan clearly does that, the Heimlich plan does not. Additionally, the Qualls plan would discourage Councilmembers from spending down budget surpluses on pet projects as has been witnessed in the past year. Why, because half of the surplus would automatically go to homeowners in the form of a tax credit.

Finally, the Qualls proposal provides real property tax relief to a segment of our population who suffers most from ever increasing property taxes, our Senior Citizens. Seniors on fixed incomes suffer most from property tax increases and in many instances they are forced to sell their homes because they cannot afford paying the increased property taxes. Mayor Qualls proposal offers real relief for our seniors.

I hope the citizens of College Hill will debate this very important issue in the coming months. As a candidate for City Council I plan to bring this issue to the attention of as many homeowning Cincinnatians as possible. If we want to provide real property tax relief for homeowners we can do it with the Qualls plan. The Heimlich plan, supported by many Republican incumbent Councilmembers and non-incumbent Council candidates offers most of its relief to business and apartment property owners. Many of those folks live outside Cincinnati. I support the Mayor's plan which targets homeowning citizens of Cincinnati.

Thank You,

Forrest L. Buckley, Candidate
Cincinnati City Council

By Forrest L. Buckley
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