Tipp City has income tax request on May 4 ballot

This culvert project in a residential area of Tipp City was among infrastructure work done in the past decade using money from a capital improvements income tax. CONTRIBUTED
This culvert project in a residential area of Tipp City was among infrastructure work done in the past decade using money from a capital improvements income tax. CONTRIBUTED

City hopes to do 10 more years of improvements.

TIPP CITY — Voters in Tipp City will decide May 4 whether to continue an income tax for capital improvements for another 10 years.

The first 10 years was highlighted by projects such as a fire department ladder truck, expanding the fire/EMS station on West Main Street, downtown restrooms and numerous street update and paving projects, among others.

The ballot request calls for continuation of a 0.25 percent income tax that expires this June 30 and another 0.25 percent income tax that expires Dec. 31, 2022. The 0.25 percent requests would be effective July 1, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2023, respectively.

The request is presented as one issue for voters to decide.

The request was on the November ballot but defeated by less than 100 votes.

Although the tax is a renewal, “Ohio rules governing ballot language is that an income tax can only be on the ballot as a ‘continuation’ and not a ‘renewal,’ ” City Manager Tim Eggleston said.

“The importance of the levy is to continue the work started 10 years ago. It would have been hard to repave all the streets and purchase equipment over the last 10 years without it. As with our own properties, maintenance never ends. Tipp is what it is, due to the generosity of those working in Tipp City,” Eggleston said.

If approved, the tax would generate around $2.65 million per year. Approximately $25 million in improvements have been identified for the next 10 years, city Finance Director John Green said earlier this year.

The general breakdown of projects, with all numbers approximate, is as follows:

  • Street Improvements (resurfacing, culvert replacements, sidewalk and alley improvements): $14.2 million
  • Street Equipment (trucks, tractors, street sweeper, leaf machine): $1.3 million
  • Park Improvements (including upgrades to the aquatic center): $2.1 million
  • Park Equipment (trucks, tractors, mowers): $457,000
  • Fire/EMS Vehicles and Equipment: $3.6 million
  • Police Vehicles and Equipment: $1.24 million
  • Building Renovations and Improvements: $1.6 million
  • Information Technology Upgrades: $600,000

Should the tax request fail, he would assume it would return to the November ballot, Eggleston said. “There will be no changes to the current CIP plan for 2021, but if it looks questionable in November we will scale back a number of projects in 2022.,” he said

Any excess funds from the tax would be used in the case of cost overruns, said John Green, city finance director.

“We’re estimating project costs 10 years out and projects that come up in the next 10 years which were not anticipated when the plan was put together,” Green said.

“Occasionally we have an opportunity for grant funding for an improvement project that makes sense for the community but requires a local match. These funds could be used for the local matching funds,” Green added.

Major street issues were addressed during the last decade, but others still need work, Eggleston said. In addition, “you can do certain things to enhance your community,” he said.

Among projects discussed have been interchange improvements at Exit 68 (Ohio 571) and a railroad quiet zone.

During the past 10 years, the city has maintained the infrastructure that was failing prior to the approval of the first CIP levy in 2011, Eggleston said.

“City departments have been able to upgrade equipment and fund ambulances and fire apparatus. Streets have been repaved, sealed, and pot holes filled,” he said. “Drainage issues are being addressed as well as providing matches for grants for road improvements. In fact, the City was successful in applying for $9 million in additional road funding due to the levy providing our 20 percent match of the road projects.”

For more information on the first 10-year income tax for capital improvements projects and those proposed for the next 10 years, visit the city website at www.tippcityohio.gov.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com.

A bike path through Lesher Woods to the area of Tippecanoe High School was among projects paid with money from the first 10-year Tipp City capital improvements income tax. This project was done in 2016. CONTRIBUTED
A bike path through Lesher Woods to the area of Tippecanoe High School was among projects paid with money from the first 10-year Tipp City capital improvements income tax. This project was done in 2016. CONTRIBUTED

In Other News