Village of NB Income Tax Increase on Nov.2, 2021 Ballot, by Sue and JP Miklovic
Judging by comments we’ve seen on different social media platforms, it appears there are some unanswered questions our readers would like to ask from those who know the answers. Our Village Administrator Mr. Michael Brillhart, Finance Officer Mr. Tony Swartz, and Mayor Ms. Janet Goldner will be answering YOUR questions that you submit to theNBXpress.com from now until Election Day, November 2, 2021.
First, let’s start with the information that has already been shared. The Village included the first document below in your monthly water bill back in June 2021, but here it is again:
A one-percent (1%) income tax levy was passed by North Baltimore voters with the first tax collection commencing on January 1, 1982. Revenues generated by the Levy are used for the Village’s General Fund.
For nearly forty-years, the one-percent (1%) income tax has been the primary source of revenue for non-utility operations and services. Approximately 70% of reported income tax revenues are paid by non-residents as compared to only 30% paid by residents.
Despite fiscal constraints associated with ongoing annual increases in expenditures for personnel, materials, equipment, and contractual obligations, the Village has provided effective levels-of-service. However, the Village Council desires to enhance services and provide needed infrastructure improvements for the community.
As such, a proposed half percent (0.5%) income tax increase will be presented to voters at the November 2nd General Election. It is anticipated that the half percent increase will generate approximately $550,000 each year.
A breakdown of where the proposed additional income tax funds would be budgeted include:
- Police Department $225,000
- Emergency Medical Services $70,000
- Park & Cemetery $35,000
- Streets $170,000
- Capital Outlay $50,000
Police Department – The funds are needed to cover increased expenses in the police department to ensure the safety of our residents and police officers. Over the past four years, the department has averaged approximately 2,739 “calls for service” each year. To handle this activity and to ensure the safety of our officers, the funds will be used to cover the cost of two additional full-time police officers as well additional hours for part-time officers. This will allow two officers on duty on all shifts each day.
EMS Department – The EMS currently provides 24-hour coverage 7 days a week with an average response time of 7 minutes. This coverage provides service for over 700 runs per year. This coverage was previously provided by all part-time staff. This method is no longer viable as the part-time pool of EMT’S has all but disappeared. To continue providing this necessary service, the EMS has recently hired 3 full-time EMT’s to solidify the staff which resulted in additional costs of $70,000 per year to cover full-time benefits.
Park and Cemetery – This income tax increase will provide $35,000 per year for upkeep, repairs and improvements to the park and cemeteries. This could include cemetery paving, grave repairs, future expansion and general maintenance and equipment. It could also include additional playground equipment, exercise equipment, future expansion and other improvements to our community park as well as ongoing maintenance, and equipment purchases.
Streets – We are all in agreement that the condition of the streets in the village is not very good. Great progress on Main Street and a few other side streets has been made. However, the village had to save money for a number of years, with little repairs, to be able to complete the recent projects. Street projects are extremely expensive. The money from the income tax increase dedicated to streets, $170,000 per year, will allow us to make significant progress in street, curb and gutter repairs and replacements in the coming years in a much timelier fashion.
Capital Outlay – This levy will provide $50,000 per year to cover equipment replacement in the coming years including, new ambulances, dump truck/snow plows, police cruisers, pick-up trucks and other related types of equipment. We can plan on replacements over time with this funding in place.
If you attended any of the 3 different open forums that were available for the public in July and August, to ask questions, you may also have seen this information:
Income Tax Increase Cost – The income tax is calculated as a percentage of all earned income, rental income and business income. Retirement income and social security income are not taxed.
Income ½% 26 pays
$ 20,000 $100.00 $. 3.85
$ 50,000 $250.00 $ 9.62
$ 75,000 $375.00 $14.42
$100,000 $500.00 $19.23
If approved by voters on November 2nd, the additional half percent (0.5%) income tax would be imposed beginning January 1, 2022.
Here is a new question asked to the Village Administration by Jeff Smith: Trying to decide how to vote on the tax levy, keep hearing that the town bought the building that used to sell propane out by McDonald’s. Was wandering if this is true and what they are going to use it for?
Here is a response, provided by Village Administrator Mr. Michael Brillhart:
Village owned building located at 1234 S. Dixie Highway – The Village acquired this building from Suburban Propane in 2021. A major 12” water main, owned by the Village, currently exists along S. Dixie Highway and provides water to the ODOT Maintenance Facility along with commercial properties on the east side of the State Road 18 @ I-75 interchange. Only water utility enterprise funds were used for the purchase. No income tax or general fund monies were used for the purchase of this building.
At this time, the Village is completing the design phase of its Water Line Replacement project. As part of this project’s scope of service, a new 12” water line loop is being designed that would traverse I-75 and connect to the Village’s major water distribution system on the west side of the interstate near the Love’s Travel Stop. This, in turn, would provide for a complete closed looped system, thereby helping maintain effective water pressure for general service and fire protection to this area of the system.
In addition, Village utilities would be able to use the complex at 1234 S. Dixie Highway for future water purification and clear-well purposes when back-up water sources are needed. This location will allow for a regional water connection with another community water supplier(s) to provide North Baltimore with the water needed for any additional industrial growth near the Ohio Logistics Park at the CSX Intermodal Facility as there continues to be interest in further development of that area.
It should be noted that all community water suppliers in the State of Ohio, in which the Village is one, are required to plan for “back-up water sources” by the Ohio EPA during times of water shortages and unforeseen natural hazard occurrences.
To ask other questions you would like to have answered, make sure to comment at the bottom of this article, along with your name and a verifiable email address, or email the question directly to editor@theNBXpress.com
We will pass it along to the Village and post the response here.