Both stadiums are funded with proceeds from a half-cent sales tax increase approved by county voters in 1996. As part of that campaign, officials promised to roll back a portion of the property tax, and vowed to make annual payments to the Cincinnati Public Schools to compensate for the decrease in taxes. Both the obligations account for big chunks of the stadium funding, along with debt service.
Hamilton Co. officials in Ohio over-estimated the expected sales tax collections from the tax increase. To address that shortfall, local officials restructured the bond payment schedule and deferred payments to the Cincy schools. According to The Bond Buyer, the City now hopes to renegotiate lease agreements with the Reds and the Bengals and continue deferring payments to the school district. And if that doesn't work, they'll tap into the money slated for rolling back property taxes.