by German Lopez
Port Authority could buy parking assets, county may raise sales tax, Cincinnati's LGBT score
The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority is making a move to buy up the city’s parking services. Cincinnati is pursuing parking privatization
as a way of balancing the budget. If it accepts the Port Authority’s
deal, the city will get $40 million upfront, and $21 million of that
will be used to help plug the $34 million deficit in the 2013 budget.
Port Authority also promised 50 percent of future profits. The Port
Authority proposal is only one of nine Cincinnati’s government has
received since it announced its plan. CityBeat criticized the city’s budget plan in this week’s commentary.
The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners might raise the sales tax instead of doing away with the property tax rebate to stabilize the stadium fund.
Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune suggested the idea, and Board
President Greg Hartmann says it might be the only solution. Republican
Chris Monzel is against it. Sales taxes are notoriously regressive,
while the property tax rebate disproportionately favors the wealthy.
Portune claims the 0.25-percent sales tax hike would be more spread out
than a property tax rollback, essentially impacting low-income families
less than the alternative. CityBeat previously covered the stadium fund and its problems here.
While Cincinnati has made great strides in LGBT rights in
the past year, it still has ways to go. The Municipal Equality Index
from the Human Rights Campaign scored Cincinnati a 77 out of 100
on city services, laws and policies and how they affect LGBT
individuals. Cleveland tied with Cincinnati, and Columbus beat out both
with an 83. It's clear Ohio is making progress on same-sex issues, but will Ohioans approve same-sex marriage in 2013?
Some conservatives just don’t know when to quit. Even
though Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus pronounced the heartbeat bill
dead, Janet Porter, president of the anti-abortion Faith2Action, wants
to force a vote in the Ohio legislature. CityBeat previously wrote about Republicans’ renewed anti-abortion agenda.
Some people are not liking the idea of new fracking waste wells.
About 100 protesters in Athens were escorted out of an information
session from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for loudly
disputing a proposal to build more waste wells. Fracking, which is also
called hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technique that pumps water
underground to draw out oil and gas. Waste wells are used to dispose of
the excess water.
One reason Ohio's online schools are so costly is advertising. CityBeat previously looked into online schools, their costs and their problems.
Divorce in Ohio might soon get easier to finalize, as long as it’s mutual and civil.
A new bill would give Ohio schools more flexibility
in making up snow days and other sudden disruptions in the school year.
The bill changes school year requirements from day measurements to
A new study found 60 percent of youth with HIV don’t know they have the deadly disease. CityBeat covered a new University of Cincinnati push meant to clamp down on rising HIV rates among youth in this week’s news story.
Tech jobs are seeing a boom due to Obamacare, according to Bloomberg.
Scientists have discovered a quasar that glows brighter than our entire galaxy.
They’ve also invented a chocolate that doesn’t melt at 104 degrees.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
It’s nearly budget season in Cincinnati
again. In a bit of a head start, City Manager Milton Dohoney has
unveiled his plan to look into privatizing the city’s parking services.
by German Lopez
Council member says approach seems shortsighted
It’s nearly budget season in Cincinnati again. In a bit of
a head start, City Manager Milton Dohoney has unveiled his plan to
look into privatizing the city’s parking services.In a memo to city employees, Dohoney claimed leasing could provide a few benefits to the city: “For example, a
third party can invest in technology across the entire system more
efficiently, can conduct enforcement and bill scofflaws, and can assume
maintenance and facility upgrades to the system. ... Further, leasing the
system could allow the City government to focus current staff on other
services, and provide a pool of funding that could be paid immediately
to support neighborhood investment among other priorities.”
Dohoney also wrote he had met with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) workers that
would be affected by the change. He assured any new parking
operator would have to interview AFSCME parking workers for jobs.
Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld responded to the proposal critically in a statement: “I’ll
await more details, but it seems penny-wise and pound-foolish to forgo a
steady revenue stream for a lump-sum payment. Cincinnati needs a
structurally balanced budget, and can’t keep relying on one-time
sources. Places like Chicago and Indianapolis have seen their parking
rates more than double following privatization — that’s a bad deal for
citizens, and something we don’t need while were experiencing an urban
Some have cited the experience in Chicago
as a failure of privatization. When New York City moved to privatize its
parking meters, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone criticized New York
City Mayor Mike Bloomberg for his plan: “These deals involve a sitting
executive selling off a valuable piece of city property at a steep
discount to private financial interests (often, to friends or campaign
contributors), in order to solve a current cash flow problem that,
surprise, surprise, will still be there the year after you finish
spending the proceeds of your sale.”
But New York City’s plan for privatized parking meters kept pricing in public
hands. It’s possible Cincinnati could take a similar approach and keep meter rates at the same level.City officials could not be reached to elaborate on the
proposal. This story will be updated if more information becomes
The full budget proposal typically comes out in late
November. Mayor Mark Mallory and City Council will have to approve the
1 Comment · Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I had done it a thousand times. Jumped in
their car, drove through the tunnel, turned right out of it and then
right into the underground parking lot. I did it for those who arrived
late, or those who didn’t want to deal with the fans.
Critics say amount of hike is too much
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 11, 2010
If you work, do business or have come downtown for dinner in the past few days you've probably noticed you need some extra change to park on the street. In the past week, the city began phasing in its new parking rate structure, doubling the cost for street parking downtown from $1 to $2 per hour. It costs more to park in city-owned lots and garages, too.
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 1, 2008
In 1871, Henry Probasco gave the city of Cincinnati the Genius of Water sculpture and fountain. Her home became Fountain Square, and the square has been the center of the Queen City ever since. Fountain Square has been renovated multiple times.