Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Banks Debacle - But a Thanks to Bortz

When you have a name like 'Bortz', you should know a thing or two about development. A member of the Towne Properties family, development has been in his blood for a long time.

For about the last 4 years the question I have never understood the answer to was, why can't Hamilton County build the garages and use parking revenue to pay for them. Newport on the Levee sits on top of government owned garages, and Newport is getting ready to build a new development on the riverfront sitting on top of garages. So the question for me has always been, what's different.

Well only in the last few days has that answer been made public. It's simple, the County wants a developer to pay for both the underground AND above ground garages, making the development economically impossible. There is no way you can build that much parking and still make a profit. Why? because the County wants to use the revenue from the garages to pay off their debt for an underperforming sales tax. Which is a complete bullshit. If the problem is sales tax revenue, the answer is to re-finance the debt, raise taxes, or extend the sales tax for an additional 5 years. (all of which are political suicide for DeWine and Heimlich who both have upcoming elections or future political ambition). I can understand their problem. However, the answer is easy, accept the city proposal to provide 20 million for the garages, and a joint task force to complete the project. Then the issue of the sales tax increase can be delayed until after the commissioners have moved on to higher political ambitions.

Bortz is right. The sales tax issue is the county's problem and seperate from the banks development. TIF money should be used to enable the development, not to pay down debt the county has. So know the answer is public, we need presure to make sure it happens. It looks as though Dewine is making the right decision and supporting cooperation with the city, so we might actual see some shovels in the ground this year after all!

Hiemlich's days are numbered as CC.
The sales deficit was predicted by Dusty Rhodes before the deal was ever done. Nobody listened to him when he said revenue projections were too optomistic and would cause future problems. The Bengals lease with the county leaves us over a barrel and will only get worse.

The Bengals’ lease will ultimately cost taxpayers over $1 billion dollars. Over the next 28 years, the Bengals will pay a total of about $11.7 million in rent, a 1% return on the taxpayers’ investment. The investment of the team’s owners has skyrocketed in value because their team plays at minimal cost in this state-of-the-art, taxpayer funded stadium. The Bengals also receive the following benefits:

The county is required to make expensive improvements to the stadium throughout the lease term.
Taxpayers pay for the maintenance and operation of the stadium.
The Bengals receive all parking and concession revenues.
The Bengals receive 50% of the revenues from non-football events like concerts, professional soccer, and high school football games. (Rev. Billy Graham was required to pay the Bengals $119,000 to preach in our taxpayer funded stadium.)

This was done by the previous County Commissioners, one of which was Bob Bedinghouse who went to work for the Bengals when his term expired. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. Public hearings should be held and Mike Brown should be invited to speak.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?