By: Molly Schramm
CINCINNATI — Cincinnati residents have voted to reject Issue 24, which would have increased earned income tax to benefit affordable housing.
Issue 24 specifically asked voters whether or not they would like to amend the city charter to raise earned income tax from 1.8% to 2.1%, which is where it was prior to its reduction in 2019 as part of Hamilton County’s transit and infrastructure levy.
The charter amendment was proposed by Cincinnati Action For Housing Now, which is made up of multiple groups, including Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, the ACLU of Ohio and more.
The increase would have generated between $40 million and $50 million in funds that would help finance affordable housing.
This extra funding would have been used to build new affordable housing, maintenance for current affordable housing units as well as funding toward services that help those in affordable housing.
Ballot language specified that 65% of spending must be allocated to those making at or below 30% average median income (AMI), and up to 30% of funding would be put toward housing for those making 50% AMI. It also says that the funding could be used for financial assistance to existing homeowners whose income is up to 80% AMI.
According to the Cincinnati Action for Housing Now, this funding will allow a two-bedroom apartment to cost no more than $1,075 per month, and most will cost $645 per month or less.
Those in support of Issue 24 included the ACLU of Ohio and Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. Those in opposition included the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the Hamilton County Democratic Party and the Hamilton County Republican Party.
Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.