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.