Icon tax plan at center of war of words between Mayor and County - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Icon tax plan at center of war of words between Mayor and County Commission

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A war of words is heating up over Hamilton County's proposed tax plan to fund renovations only to Union Terminal.

The plan would raise the county sales tax by a quarter of a cent to 7 percent if approved by voters on the November ballot.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley describes the plan as half-baked. Cranley has made it no secret that he takes a dim view of the county's icon tax plan. It's a plan he says leaves out
a lot of details and leaves him fearing for the county's future.

The mayor says he worries the tax plan may not even cover the cost of repairs to Union Terminal.

"The original recommendation included 40-million in private money which is mostly gone," he said. "It was dependent on money from the city which we're not going to put in anymore because they broke the deal with us so I don't know that they're going to raise enough money from this tax to even fix the problem which would be wasting hundreds of millions of
dollars."   

With the mayor now opposed to the icon tax Xavier University political science professor, Mack Mariani says that could have unintended consequences.

"The mayor coming out and saying maybe folks ought to vote 'no' on this with the hope that we revisit this down the road. You know, on the plus side maybe that means music hall will be part of a larger package, but on the negative side maybe union terminal never gets the money it needs," said Mariani.

FOX19 asked some of our viewers what they think about war of words over icon funding.

John Douglas of Over-The-Rhine says the city and county need to work harder on a compromise solution.

"They need to go back and revisit the issue and come up with a way to include both
of them," he said. 

Brian M. of Independence, KY said, "I think with a lot of the negative rhetoric voters might just say no to everything because it seems like it's all confusing. I hope they get down
to like just the facts because it'll be beneficial for music hall and union terminal really." 

Mayor Cranley says he'll continue to look for ways to fix Music Hall, preferably in conjunction with the Cultural Facilities Task Force, but it is certain the city can't afford to do
it on its own. 

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