Q: The City of Cincinnati will be using Capital Funds to construct the streetcar. Can the City of Cincinnati use Capital Funds to pay for operating expenses, such as city employee’s salaries?
Lea Eriksen, City Budget Director
A: The sources of funding for the City’s General Capital budget include a dedicated portion of City’s Income Tax (0.15% of the 2.1%), a dedicated portion of the City’s Property Tax (5.36 mills out of 9.89 mills), and lease payments from the City owned Southern Railway. All of these sources are restricted by City Charter and/or State Law to be used for “permanent improvement” purposes. A permanent improvement is defined as an asset with a useful life of at least five years and a value of at least $10,000. The City can not by Law use the funds from the General Capital budget to pay for operating expenses such as Police Officer salaries.