Township trustees voted 2-1 Wednesday to add a second local levy, seeking 5.0 mills for five years for police services, to November election ballots.
Township voters will also consider a five-year, 1.4 mill property tax levy for trash pick-up on the Nov. 6 ballot.
If voters approve the two levies, homeowners would pay an additional $56.65 a year, increasing the annual payment for township levies to $650.78 a year for every $100,000 in property value, according to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.
Police Chief John “Chris” Krug said he would be faced with cutting officers next year, unless voters approved an additional levy for police services by 2013.
“They have always been very supportive,” Krug said, counting six consecutive levy approvals since 1996.
Krug also noted the dilemma faced by voters also considering whether to support the proposed trash levy.
Currently the township funds trash pick-up with the expiring 0.9 mill tax levy, which raises $529,239 a year, and a 1.2 mill levy, raising $705,652, running through 2014. The trustees are weighing alternatives to the existing service without additional levy funding.
The township plans to use reserve funds to offset this year’s projected deficit in the police department’s budget, funded through fees, fines, as well as a 4.0 mill levy continuing through 2015 and a 3.65 mill levy expiring at the end of the year that would be replaced by the proposed 5.0 mill levy.
Trustees Mike Nolan and Charlie Lewis voted to support Krug’s recommendation to ask voters to approve the 5.0 levy.
The dissenting vote came from Trustee Deborah Preston who said she supported the police department, but opposed turning to property owners for additional taxes in light of more than $10 million the township had committed to the Austin Landing development. Krug said police were being called to Kohl’s and other new businesses at the new development.
Krug said existing levies were diminished by diversion of added property value from improvements at Austin Landing from the township general fund to pay off the debts taken on to fund the improvements.
“It’s a Catch 22. If you want economic development, there’s a cost associated with it,” Krug said.