Bellbrook officials say voter approval of a longstanding operating levy is critical.
“Its’ not new money. It’s no increase. When you’ve got income being slashed from every direction you don’t take away steady income that has been in place for years that voters have approved over and over,” ” councilwoman Elaine Middlestetter said. “It’s just almost like saying, ‘OK , you can keep your paycheck.”
Voters in November will be asked renew the city’s five year, 1.3 mil general fund levy.
If approved, it would continue to cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $38.32 annually, according to information from county auditor David Graham’s office.
Bellbrook City Manager Mark Schlagheck said the renewal typically passes smoothly, but with the economic pressures families have faced in recent years and a general anti-tax sentiment in the country, he has reason to be concerned.
“In this day and age, I always have a concern that a tax levy will not pass,” he said. “I would hope that people would continue to pay what they (already) pay.”
The levy raises about $200,000 annually, just under 20 percent of the city’s $1.5 million general fund budget. The city’s overall budget is about $7 million.
“Without that money we will have to make some significant changes,” he said.
Schlagheck estimates the city will lose $100,000 to $200,000 annually due to the elimination of the state’s estate tax and an additional $125,000 yearly due to state cuts to the local government fund.
Middlestetter said Bellbrook strives to manage expenses responsibly.
“Bellbrook has historically run a very lean operation,” she said. “People do multiple jobs. They are very skilled at what they do. They find other ways of saving money and still provide services that people what.”
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