The Streetcar’s Impact on the City Budget

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Some are concerned about the impact building the Cincinnati Streetcar will have on the budget. Because the Streetcar will be funded from a variety of sources, the impact on the budget will be relatively small.

The City has committed $61 million to the project. Of that sum, $25 million is tax increment financing which can only be spent in Downtown or Over-the-Rhine and does not impact the rest of the budget. The remaining $36 million comes from the sale of the Blue Ash Airport ($11 million) and the capital budget, the budget used for transportation infrastructure like roads and bridges ($25 million). This $36 million will not all be spent at once; it will be spent over several years. No funds will come from the Operating Budget—the budget that pays for health clinics, police, fire, and operating parks and recreation centers.

Cincinnati’s most recent biennial budget totaled $2,540,200,000.00. Because the Streetcar funds will be spent over several years, it makes sense to compare it to a multi-year budget. The graph below shows the spending on the Streetcar that affects the budget in relation to the total amount of City spending. With the potential for hundreds of millions of dollars of benefit for Cincinnati and a budget impact of $36 million, the Cincinnati Streetcar is too good of an investment to pass up. Support Cincinnati. Build the Streetcar.



5 thoughts on “The Streetcar’s Impact on the City Budget

    Randy Simes said:
    April 9, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Great illustration…puts things into perspective a bit.

    […] From the Operating Budget Posted by cincystreetcar under Uncategorized No Comments  This earlier post broke down the funds needed to build the streetcar and showed how they would come from the Capital […]

    […] Posted by cincystreetcar under Uncategorized Leave a Comment  It has already been posted here and here that building and operating the Cincinnati Streetcar will not take any funds from […]

    Andy said:
    July 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    How does TIF spending work exactly. Does the debt incurred just become a part of the deficit until it is payed off later? I feel like this is something that Coast people would eat up. Any info?

    nathan said:
    December 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

    The street car operating cost is proposed to come from revenue from a source that hasn’t been built yet. Noone knows the time it will take to ramp up to an adequate amount given that the city will receive a percentage no an actual dollar figure like a bank loan. If things go wrong or not as planned, the money to operate it will indeed come from the operatig budget that looks healthy on their chart up there but it offers no information on how strained that budget already is. Not to mention the state of the city pension fund. Lets wake up and dismiss colorful charts.

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