In Ohio this November, Hamilton County voters may get a direct say on whether they want higher sales taxes.

The group of citizens, businesses, and officials who have led a petition-gathering effort to stop a sales tax hike, the Coalition Opposing Additional Sales Tax (COAST), submitted almost 38,000 signatures on July 18 to the county auditor.

To put the sales tax increase on the ballot, organizers need 27,500 verified signatures. They have around 10,000 signatures to work with as the county begins reviewing them.

The ballot initiative comes on the heels of a 2-1 vote by the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners in favor of raising the sales tax by .2 percentage points to 7.2 percent.

Residents have sent a clear message they are fed up with being hit with new and higher taxes. When you also consider the incredibly tight time frame for circulating petitions, it is even more clear people are passionately opposed to what their County Commission did.

North College Hill council member Matt Wahlert hammered the sales tax hike as hurting those who can least afford it saying, “these are the folks that it may make a difference for — folks on fixed income for a Christmas present for a granddaughter. The folks that make less, with sales tax, get hurt the most. It’s regressive.”

A higher sales tax will also drive shoppers over the border to Kentucky. Which is already a friendlier state, tax-wise.

Meanwhile in Montgomery County, residents looking to stop a sales tax increase still have time to sign their petition. The deadline is July 26. Sign, share, or carry petitions to help the effort. Learn more here.

Stay tuned for a final count on the Hamilton County petitions.