Council's Job Growth Committee held a public meeting Monday to discuss
what should be done with revenue from the Horseshoe Casino.
latest projections from the developer project roughly $21 million to the City
during the first full year of the casino's operation. The City of Cincinnati is
currently anticipating $14 million in revenue during that first full year.
In total, 17 people ended up speaking in front of
the Job Growth Committee.
Suggestions for use of the revenue included investing
in city neighborhoods, funneling funding into the city's retirement system and
one speaker even suggested giving the money back to the casino.
members] are just going to have to live within their means, provide the basic
services and not be involved in things that should be a part of the private
business sector," argued Libertarian Jim Berns.
believes the casino could use the returned revenue to increase payouts which he
argues would give Horseshoe a competitive advantage and ultimately benefit the
Councilman Charlie Winburn's proposal for the money includes
taking the rest of the uncommitted casino revenue and exchanging it for taxable
bonds to invest in a long term economic development plan. Winburn says he wants
to see the money used to create jobs, promote neighborhoods, and
Like the public, however, council members do not
fully agree on how the revenue should be spent.
would advocate for a balanced approach which means some of the revenue goes
toward economic development investments so that we are growing our economic pie
over the long term, but just as important in the short term [is] bridging this
year's budget deficit so that we're meeting peoples' expectation for basic
services," argued councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, Vice Chair of the committee.
the City recommended using $3 million of the revenue towards the
funding of the Streetcar and four million to go towards economic development
Horseshoe Casino is scheduled to
open in the spring.
The City Manger is expected to
release his proposed budget next week that could include recommendations on how
to spend the first of the casino revenue coming in to the city.