How Business Is Handled on Both Sides of the Ohio River

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Photograph by Rick Lohre

From liquor sales to local government, here are some nuts and bolts differences in how Northern Kentucky (Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties) and Cincinnati take care of business.

Liquor Sales

Kentucky
Kentucky state law prohibits alcohol sales on Sunday, but ordinances in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties reverse this. Liquor and wine cannot be purchased in grocery stores, unless there is a separate entrance.

Cincinnati
Ohio liquor laws permit alcohol sales seven days a week. Beer and wine may be purchased at grocery stores, but spirits are only available at state-licensed liquor stores (some of which are located inside grocery stores).


Taxes

Kentucky
Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties maintain a 6 percent sales tax (equal to Kentucky’s). All motor vehicles and boats are subject to state and local property tax, which is paid annually. Kentucky’s gas tax is currently 26 cents per gallon.

Cincinnati
Cincinnati’s sales tax is 7 percent, thanks to a 1.25 percent Hamilton County sales tax on top of Ohio’s statewide 5.75 percent. Ohio doesn’t require residents to pay property tax on vehicles. The gas tax is currently 38 cents per gallon.


Local Government

Kentucky
Each Northern Kentucky county has a Fiscal Court featuring a county judge/executive, who manages the legislative and executive branches, and three county commissioners, who represent each county’s three districts.

Cincinnati
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and city council members establish citywide policies, while City Manager Patrick Duhaney oversees day-to-day operations.


Public Transport Systems

Kentucky
The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky provides bus and shuttle transportation to Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties, as well as part of downtown Cincinnati.

Cincinnati
The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority manages Metro buses that service the city and suburbs; the city also plans to take over the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar, which follows a 3.6-mile loop through downtown and Over-the-Rhine.


Smoking in Public

Kentucky
Kentucky hasn’t enacted a statewide ban on smoking inside public places, but counties including Kenton have passed ordinances that prohibit smoking in public buildings and workplaces, with exemptions for private clubs and bars.

Cincinnati
In November 2006, Ohioans voted in favor of the Smoke Free Workplace Act, which went into effect that December and bans smoking inside all public places, including restaurants, bars, and workplaces.

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