Huber Heights hires communications firm ahead of expected levy votes

Residents may vote in 2023 on renewal of key income tax levies that raise $5 million per year for city services

Huber Heights City Council last month agreed to hire communications company The Impact Group to help inform residents about two upcoming income tax levy renewals.

The resolution to hire the Cleveland-area firm for $74,000 was narrowly approved, with four council members voting in favor and four against the motion. Mayor Jeff Gore broke the tie and voted in support of the resolution.

According to Interim City Manager Bryan Chodkowski, the city has two public safety levies in place, one set to expire at the end of 2024 and one set to expire the following year. Renewal of these levies will not increase taxes.

Huber Council has discussed the possibility of introducing one or both levy renewal requests as early as the May 2023 election.

The first levy, which was approved by voters in in 2014, allowed the city to increase the income tax rate from 2% to 2.25% for a period of 10 years in order to maintain public service levels.

The second levy first took effect in 2006 and was renewed by voters in 2015. This is a 10-year, 0.25% income tax. Revenue generated from this levy is divided between police, fire/EMS, and general city operations/parks and recreation.

According to Finance Director James Bell, each of these levies generates $2.5 million annually.

In an August work session, Chodkowski said recruitment of services from a communications company will allow residents to make informed decisions regarding the renewals.

“(We want to) make sure that we have adequate information available to the city that we can disseminate to our residents to make sure they are appropriately educated about the pros and cons of these measures, so they can make informed decisions when they head to the polls,” he said, noting that The Impact Group’s services were utilized in the same fashion leading up to the approval of both of the levies in 2014 and 2015.

“Council has discussed the opportunity of presenting these levies to the public earlier then is necessary to ensure that if the measures fail, we have significant time to respond to those failures in whatever capacity that looks like,” Chodkowski said.

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