Few voters have large impact on community tax issues

A small number of voters had a large say Tuesday whether millions of dollars of tax money will be collected for community services over the coming years.

A margin of just 194 voters determined that about $12 million in tax revenue will be collected over the next five years on owners of 20,354 properties in Miami Twp. to provide fire and emergency medical services. The 3.65 mill replacement levy — that will raise taxes — passed with 70% of 484 total votes, according to unofficial final election results.

“The Miami Township Board of Trustees are pleased that our residents have again voted in an overwhelming majority to support the work of our fire district,” Trustee President John Morris told this news outlet. “The passage of this levy renewal is critical to ongoing operations and will allow for the continued levels of service that our residents have come to expect.”

ExploreRESULTS: Election totals for local issues, races

Levies for municipal services passed in every jurisdiction except in Brookville, where voters rejected a parks levy for the second time and one for streets for a third time.

Brookville could be looking at trimming its budget instead of restoring a road resurfacing program abandoned about four years ago, said Brookville City Manager Sonja Keaton.

“That was very discouraging to see that the levies did not pass,” she said. “Council will be discussing possible cuts in various departments over the next few council meetings.”

Renewal levies to help fund police services in Harrison Twp. and Trotwood in Montgomery County easily passed, as did levies for roads and bridges on Greene County ballots in Beavercreek and Beavercreek Twp. In Miami County, voters supported the renewal of levies for the Miami County Public Health District and the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center; a renewal and increase in property tax for Piqua’s Public Library; and a 0.50% total income tax renewal in for Tipp City capital improvements, according to unofficial returns.

Overall turnout for the odd-year special election was just 8% in Montgomery County and 8% in Miami County, most in Troy where races for city offices and a school issue was on the ballot. Turnout was 24% in Greene County, which had five school issues on the ballot.

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Brookville

Voters rejected an additional 3.85-mill levy for streets and bridges with 59% voting against the measure among the 868 ballots cast, according to unofficial Montgomery County Board of Elections results.

Brookville voters also turned down a 0.96-mill levy for the city’s six parks and to increase recreational options. Of the 873 votes cast, 60 percent voted against the levy.

In 2017, over 80% of voters rejected a 2.5-mill levy request for streets. It gained more votes in 2020 but still was defeated with more than 52% against the measure.

Keaton said earlier if the levies didn’t pass the city would have to make some decisions, which could include cuts, Keaton said.

“Council will have to decide if they want to put property tax levies on the November ballot, or seek additional funding through changes to our existing income tax and/or make major cuts,” she said. “Additional cutbacks will not be necessary if the levies pass.”

Harrison Twp.

A 6-mill police renewal levy was approved by 75% of 656 Harrison Twp. voters. Passage on Tuesday makes the levy permanent.

The levy will continue to bring in nearly $1.4 million annually to pay for police services, including for staffing and equipment like radios and vehicles along with fuel, according to the township. A Harrison Twp. owner of a $100,000 house will continue paying $183.75 annually, according to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.

Miami Twp.

The Miami Twp. levy that passed 339-145 will increase taxes. The owner of a $100,000 home will see the annual cost climb from $88.74 to $127.75, according to the county auditor’s office. The replacement levy will generate an estimated $2.4 million annually, an increase of $384,396 more per year than the expiring levy, according to the township.

A five-year deal that started the Miami Valley Fire District in 2012 for Miami Twp. and Miamisburg to share fire and emergency medical services was made permanent in 2017.

Trotwood

A renewal of Trotwood’s 5.75-mill, five-year operating levy won with 70% of 622 votes cast, according to the unofficial count. The levy funds about 60% of the city’s police services as well as administrative, planning and zoning, parks and recreations and other essential services.

The owner of a $100,000 home will continue to pay $174.34 per year for the duration of the five-year levy that will generate over $1.2 million, according to the city.

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GREENE COUNTY

Beavercreek

The 3.4 mill Beavercreek streets renewal levy passed with 76% of the 10,802 votes cast, according to unofficial final results from the Greene County Board of Elections.

The levy, which generates about $4.64 million annually, helps maintain the city’s 253 centerline miles of streets, along with street lighting, signs, traffic signals, pavement marking, and storm sewer systems. It is the primary funding source for 37 full-time employees, according to the city.

“Now that the levy has passed, we’ll continue to be out there filling potholes and plowing snow,” said Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone.

The levy generates about $4.64 million every year and costs homeowners about $89 per $100,000 property valuation, according to the city.

Beavercreek Twp.

The 1.5 mill Beavercreek Twp. renewal levy for Beavercreek Twp. roads and bridges passed with support from about 80% of 2,191 voters.

Tim Parks, Beavercreek Twp. road superintendent, said he is very happy and relieved the levy passed.

“The residents have confidence in our services and that is a big relief,” he said.

The funding will allow the township to continue its resurfacing, curb and catch basin repair and annual snow removal programs uninterrupted, Parks said.

“We’ll be able to continue without any reduction in service,” he said.

The levy generates about $468,000 per year and costs the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $37 per year.

MIAMI COUNTY

Miami County Health District

With 75% of the vote, a 0.4-mill public health levy was approved for another 10 years.

The levy, voted on by 2,862 voters, is countywide except in Piqua, which has its own health district, and Troy, where the city pays Public Health for services within the city limits. It generates around $500,000 a year.

“We are truly very grateful that the citizens of Miami County have once again voted to support public health. Throughout the past year in responding to the COVID pandemic, Miami County Public Health was able to prove how important a strong, capable local public health department is to our community,” said health Commissioner Dennis Propes. “With the passage of this levy we will be able to continue to offer the highest level of service that the citizens expect of us. We will continue to serve the community being good stewards of the resources they have entrusted us with.”

Piqua Public Library

Voters approved continuing a 1.3-mill tax and adding a new 0.5 mill increase to support the Piqua Public Library. The measure passed with 70% of the 847 votes cast, according to unofficial final results.

The cost for the owner of a $100,000 home will rise from $34.96 per year to $52.46, according to the Miami County Auditor’s office.

Tipp City

In Tipp City, voters renewed for 10 years a 0.50 percent income tax for capital improvements. The unofficial returns show 74% of 758 voters supported the measure.

“Without it, we cannot continue to maintain infrastructure such as streets, alleyways, parks, etcetera,” said City Manager Tim Eggleston. “This is what makes Tipp great. We will continue to make Tipp a great place to work, live and play.”

Troy-Hayner Cultural Center

The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center asked voters to renew its 0.85-mill levy, which raises $592,000 a year, for another five years at the same rate. It would continue to cost the owner of a $100,000 home $21.41 per year.

The Hayner Center houses a community arts center featuring classes in art and other subjects, plus free year-round exhibits and concerts.

The unofficial returns showed 75 percent voting for the center’s levy and 25 percent against.

Staff Writers Nancy Bowman, India Duke, Bonnie Meibers and Eric Schwartzberg contributed to this story.

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