Cincinnati Post
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Don't raise dog fees, Rhodes urges Krings

By Mike Rutledge, Post staff reporter
If the Hamilton County commissioners raise the cost to license local dogs, county Auditor Dusty Rhodes will howl about it to taxpayers, he has warned. County Administrator David Krings has recommended the commissioners boost the dog-license fee by 44 percent, to $13 per year from $9 per year. Krings made a similar recommendation last year, but the commissioners chose to wait until this year to consider the fee increase. Under state law, the commissioners have until Aug. 31 to raise the fees for 2001. The three commissioners were unavailable to comment on the matter this morning. The county's dog and kennel fund has been experiencing deficits - even before com missioners earlier this year voted to increase the amount paid to the Hamilton County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals by 16 percent, from $50,624 per month to $58,630.50 next year. ''I believe increasing the fee is wrong and I will not be a silent accomplice to a near-50 percent increase on the backs of those who are following the law while scofflaws skate,'' Rhodes wrote Krings last week. The auditor said his office and the SPCA ''are on track to increase dog licenses this year by more than 5,000 over 1999.'' He told Krings that increasing the fee ''would assuredly impact our progress in increasing compliance.'' Krings disagrees. When the fee rose to $9 from $7 in 1992, ''the number of licenses sold actually increased by 1,121 from the prior year,'' he said.
Publication date: 08-02-00