Saturday, July 18, 2009

Will We Demand a Vote ?

The Cincinnati museum Center wants about $7 million/year for the next 5 years to do some repairs. They want to put it on the ballot this November but the Hamilton County subcommittee for the Tax Levy Review Committee said "no" and recommended a levy for half that amount.
I imagine the We Demand a Vote Crüe will be out collecting signatures to get this on the ballot any day now. The fact that the Tax Review Committee has unelected members on board should surely raise the eyebrows of the local NAACP & the Libertarian contingent of COA T and the ability to merely vote on the issue should get the über-democratic Green contingent fired up, too.
yeah, that'll happen.
I have no problem with the Museum Center, but they need to market themselves better and try to raise funds on their own first, before going to the taxpayers. They have a Donations page but it doesn't promote their sponsors too well & it doesn't say anything about needing cash for building repairs & improvements. There is no hype at all. I have no idea what their private solicitations for funds has produced.
You can rent the joint for private stuff. I attended a wedding there that was pretty cool. The guests had free rein of the local museum area. If you want to support the Museum Center, renting their facilities might be a good start. heck W sold a war there.....
It also seems kinda weird to tax Hamilton County property owners for what is, essentially a regional institution. Fund raisers and soliciting sponsors seems like the better approach to me.
But, hey, We Demand a Vote will probably be backing this all the way, so I am sure we will get a vote on this, anyway.
PTTP (?) article here.


Mr. T said...

I pity the fool who messes with my cousin COA T.

Mark Miller said...

It's hard to make sense of this without the back-story.

Back in 2004, CMC asked for a $3.7 million/year levy, and specifically said they were going to use $20 million of it to pay for roof repairs to prevent water problems from getting any worse. It was big, but even COAST didn't object to that, and they got their levy increase.

Turns out CMC spent the money on interior patch-ups and never fixed the roof. Problems got a lot worse, and now repairs will run at least $120 million because they allowed the structural steel to rust out over a decade. CMC had planned to do a separate levy for that until the economy went to hell. Now they're hosed, and so are the taxpayer/owners.

TLRC is miffed because they already gave CMC the money to fix the roof last time, and here they are asking for it again. Plus they had simply rolled the extra funds into CMC's operating levy, giving them more flexibility on how and when to spend it. This time TLRC won't be quite so trusting.

The portion of the original levy intended to fund museum operations was recommended for an inflation-adjusted increase, and TLRC basically told CMC to pound-sand on the repair portion. Instead, TLRC recommended that if commissioners want to pay for repairs, they should designate a separate capital appropriation with lots of strings attached.

It's a reasonable and prudent recommendation that commissioners will likely adopt. Then we'll all get to vote on the tax levy. No need for a petition drive at this time.