Levies

Montgomery County is looking for more money to support services for senior citizens, foster kids, and the poor and unemployed by taking a request for a levy increase to voters this November.

The county says human services needs are growing, but resources are shrinking, mainly because property values have gone down, and that’s what property taxes are based on. Each year since 2010 Human Services has seen millions in cuts, totaling over $20 million.

GM's Moraine assembly was once an iconic Dayton-area employer. A Chinese auto-glass company will soon take over the building, but the city of Moraine is still short thousands of jobs.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

A few income tax increases and levies for operating expenses went before Miami Valley voters in yesterday’s primary election, and preliminary results show voters largely said yes to raising municipal taxes.

Preliminary results are in from school levies on the May 6 ballot across the Miami Valley and in a low turn-out primary election, just a handful of people made some of these decisions.

mayor nan whaley
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Dayton voters will be asked to renew a .5 percent increase to the city’s income tax on Tuesday’s primary ballot.

Dayton’s income tax is currently 2.25 percent, but the permanent rate is 1.75 percent—the last half a percent has always been temporary. Voters have renewed it overwhelmingly four times since it was first passed in 1984.

City officials hope to cut the costs of bringing the tax to a vote in the future by asking voters to pass the increase with no time limit.

The Brookville school district is one of several with new or increased levies on the ballot for next Tuesday, May 6, 2014. This will be the third time in a row this tiny school district northwest of Dayton has tried to get an increase; in May 2013, the levy lost by two votes, and in November, it failed by 44 out of 2,642 total votes.

Michelle Landis has two kids in the schools and heads the levy committee—and she says it’s all about turnout.

A photo of a 1927 advertisement for the city of Moraine posted in city hall; in addition to being an early industrial site in Dayton, David Hicks says it was considered a riverside getaway for Dayton residents.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The city of Moraine has an income tax levy coming up on the May 6, 2014 ballot that would increase the tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent for a period of five and a half years. The city’s revenue, which has always depended on an income tax, has been in a steep decline since at least the year 2000, as many large employers left the south Dayton suburb.

Huber Heights has seen tax revenues decline since the Recession.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Huber Heights has announced plans to seek an income tax increase on the November 2014 ballot; the city is predicting budget shortfalls of $2.3 million per year.

“We’ve been using reserves for the past five or six years to provide the services we have out there today, and we’ve come to a crossroads,” says Scott Falkowski, Huber Heights Assistant City Manager.

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Most ballot issues and candidates have been confirmed for the May 6 primary election, and as usual, there are a lot of tax and levy questions coming up, although many are renewals, which means they won’t affect current tax rates.

Here’s the list of new or additional levy and tax issues WYSO will be covering running up to May 6, 2014, based on county board of elections' preliminary information:

Montgomery County:

Brookville Local School District (LSD) will be seeking a 5.25-mill additional levy for operating expenses.

The Clark County Board of Developmental Disabilities 8-year additional levy was defeated Tuesday. Unofficial results show that 12,811 voters approved, while 14,560 said "no" to passing the measure. 

Until November 2012, the board hadn't had a levy defeat since 1967. With two straight losses now, Board Superintendent Jennifer Rousculp says her agency won't be able to do as much for the developmentally disabled in Clark County.

The Clark County Board of Developmental Disabilities is asking voters to approve an 8-year, additional levy on Election Day.

The board had the same issue rejected last November. In 2012, voters handed the board its first levy defeat since 1967.

"If we are unsuccessful in passing our levy, we will have to cut some of the folks that we currently are serving," says Jennifer Rousculp, the Board Superintendent. She says cuts would hit home care services and self-sufficiency programs for the developmentally disabled.

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