Election officials clarify Tipp City income tax details

The new "See Yourself in Tipp" mural on the wall of the Tipp City Public Library facing the Coldwater Cafe at their shared alley outdoor patio space on January 4, 2021. TOM GILLIAM
Caption
The new "See Yourself in Tipp" mural on the wall of the Tipp City Public Library facing the Coldwater Cafe at their shared alley outdoor patio space on January 4, 2021. TOM GILLIAM

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Miami County elections officials have clarified that Tipp City’s May 4 city income tax vote is a renewal of two existing income taxes, not an additional new tax.

A preliminary absentee ballot document on the Board of Elections website Wednesday said residents would be voting on a 10-year, 0.25% additional tax.

ExploreTipp City leaders say income tax is key to future projects

Ian Ridgeway, deputy director of the Miami County Board of Elections, confirmed Thursday that the vote is on a pair of 0.25% income taxes, totaling 0.5%, keeping tax rates the same if voters approve. A 0.5% income tax would continue to cost $250 annually for a taxpayer making $50,000 a year.

“The software we use to get all of our ballot language and issues together, when we generate the (federal write-in absentee ballot) notice out of that, it gives us an abridged version of that ballot text,” Ridgeway said. “And it just picked up the first 0.25% and missed the second 0.25%.”

Ridgeway said Tipp’s levy “is a little bit different format than we usually see” because with one vote, residents will be deciding whether to renew two different levies that expire at different times.

ExploreSee what tax levies are on the May ballot and what they would cost

One of the two 0.25% levies expires June 30, while the other doesn’t expire until Dec. 31, 2022. If voters approve the ballot measure, each levy would be extended for another 10 years at the current rate.

City officials say the wording is important, as residents rejected a slightly different structure of this levy in November. City Finance Director John Green has said confusion over over the November ballot wording may have played a part in some voters’ decision.

Green has provided a list of $25 million in projects the city would target in the next 10 years if the levies are renewed. Street improvement/paving is by far the largest category at $14.2 million, followed by fire/EMS vehicles and equipment at $3.6 million and park/aquatic center improvements at $2.1 million.

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