Months after approval of fire levy, Miami Twp. OKs police levy for May ballot

New levy would be permanent rather than five years, and would cost an extra $73.48 per year on a $100,000 home.

Credit: Eric Schwartzberg

Credit: Eric Schwartzberg

MIAMI TWP., Montgomery County — Miami Twp. will ask voters to approve a permanent 5.75-mill property tax levy in May to help fund its police department.

The levy would replace a 5.25-mill levy approved by voters in November 2018, which will continue through the end of 2023. That levy generates just under $2.9 million a year for five years.

The replacement levy, which would generate an additional $893,065 per year, would cost the owner of a $100,000 property an additional $73.48 a year, Montgomery County Auditor’s Office officials confirmed Thursday.

Township trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to put the replacement levy on the ballot for the May 2 election.

Approval of the replacement levy would maintain police service levels and allow for future expansion of personnel, if needed, according to a presentation to trustees Tuesday by Miami Twp. Police Chief Charlie Stiegelmeyer. He said it also would help the department keep pace with inflation and an increasing demand for services, enable the township to benefit from new construction and provide a reliable funding source.

Township Finance Director Clay McCord said the levy, if approved, would establish a continuing funding stream.

“It’s just to not have to keep going back (to the ballot) every five years,” McCord said.

The Miami Twp. Police Department is funded by two tax levies — the soon-to-expire 5.25-mill levy and a 5.5-mill levy approved by voters in May 2019, which continues through 2024. It generates nearly $3.4 million for five years.

The police department uses levy funds to pay police officers, purchase cruisers, purchase equipment, pay for training and fund day-to-day operating costs for the police department.

Miami Twp. voters are no strangers to public safety levies. In November, a combined vote of Miamisburg and Miami Twp. residents approved a Fire District levy that will increase taxes and restructure funding for that department.

MTPD has 37 sworn positions and 5 non-sworn positions, according to police. In 2022, the department responded to more than 29,100 calls for service, up from nearly 27,000 calls in 2021.

The new levy would allow the department to maintain those levels and expand personnel, Stiegelmeyer said. It also would improve coverage and response times during high-call volume periods and allow the police department to be self sufficient, he said.

In addition, the department would be able to maintain its ability to properly outfit officers with body cameras and other equipment, increasing transparency and safety, Stiegelmeyer said. Revenues generated by the levy also would permit the department to maintain its competitiveness in recruiting and retaining the best officers to serve the community and increase visibility of officers within the community and improve MTPD’s ability to participate on crime prevention task forces, he said.

Stiegelmeyer told trustees he wants to hire four new officers.

“I’m going to dedicate them to putting boots on the ground,” he said. “We have some specialty areas that we’d like to explore with our Special Operations Unit. We would target high-crime areas and insert these officers.”

Levy revenue also would be used to replace capital items, including cruisers, and to make building upgrades in the men’s locker room. In addition, the department has a roof on its building that needs to be replaced within the next year or so, he said.

“We have older equipment that has rotational every three to five years,” Stiegelmeyer said. “That would be MDTs (mobile display terminals) in our cruisers, portable radios ... Tasers ... all these costs that we have to start absorbing and if we don’t get an additional way to raise revenue, we’re going to have to find other ways to cut back.

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