As Cincinnati and Hamilton County approach an election, voters can expect to see Issue 29 on the ballot. It's a proposed tax increase that would go to the Great Parks of Hamilton County, if approved.
The money would fund everything from operations and improvements to park infrastructure, like building renovations and playground improvements, as well as adding more trails and building up conservation efforts.
For frequent park-goers like Barbara Alexander, the pandemic brought to light just how important nearby green spaces can be. She frequents Winton Woods up to three times a week and supports Issue 29.
"This is a jewel," she said of Winton Woods. "And the pandemic really brought out to most people I know how invaluable it is to their mental health to have something like this around."
She said she believes the tax increase is worth every penny.
If approved, the 10-year levy is estimated to cost homeowners an additional $33.35 per year for every $100,000 in residential property.
For homeowners like Barbara Holwadel, who is part of a group called Taxed Enough, the levy is not an attractive option. Taxed Enough is running a campaign against Issue 29.
"Our concern is that as people go back to work, they're going to be working more, longer hours in order to pay these kinds of taxes that government entities keep piling on us," said Holwadel.
She and the group want more transparency on how the money will be used and stronger communication with the community who would be paying for it.
If approved, the levy will go into effect in 2022. Early voting is already underway and the final day to vote is Nov. 2.