Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A back-up plan if voters say 'no'

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner wants to take money from the Capital Improvements Fund and move it into the General Fund to cover the budget deficit for 2009.

City Council has already voted to place an issue on the September ballot that would re-allocate our 3/4% payroll income tax to help cover a portion of that deficit.

Tonight, city council will deliberate on the following resolution which would place a back-up issue on the November ballot to do, basically, the same thing - on a one-time only basis, move $3.9 million from CIP into the General Fund.

Here is the text of the legislation:

RES. 488-09

Providing for the submitting to the electors of the City of Toledo at the Regular Municipal Election to be held on November 3, 2009, the question of the approval of the issue under Ordinance No._____ –09, passed by the Council of the City of Toledo on August 18, 2009, by amending Chapter 1905 of the Toledo Municipal Code, to provide for reallocation on a one time basis of funds allocated to the Capital Improvement fund to the General Fund; and declaring an emergency.

SUMMARY & BACKGROUND:
Currently Chapter 1905 of the Toledo Municipal Code (Code) provides for the permanent levy of a tax on income at the rate of one and one-half percent (1-1/2%) from and after January 1, 1967. Additionally, Chapter 1905 of the Code provides for the levy of a temporary three-quarters of one percent (3/4%). On March 4, 2008 the voters of Toledo approved the continuation of the additional ¾% income tax for the period of 2009 – 2012 with an allocation of one-third (1/3) for Police, Fire, and other Safety Department responsibilities, one-third (1/3) for the General Fund, and one-third (1/3) for the Capital Improvements Fund.

Due to extraordinary economic conditions that have impacted local and national economies the City of Toledo is facing a significant General Fund deficit for the year 2009. While several steps have been made to reduce the size of the projected deficit, it is likely that a sizable shortfall will remain unaddressed if immediate action is not taken. Ohio law and he Charter of the City of Toledo require that the City balance its budget.

Pursuant to the mandate of Chapter 1905 of the Code as enacted by the voters, the City has allocated one third (1/3) of the three quarters percent (3/4%) income tax to the Capital Improvements Fund. Fortuitously, the City has also been awarded funds in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 grants (Stimulus Funds) for capital improvement purposes.

The Council of the City of Toledo desires to reallocate an amount not to exceed three million nine hundred thousand dollars ($3,900,000) from currently allocated and unencumbered amounts in the Capital Improvement Fund to the General Fund to help address the projected budget deficit. This would be a one-time reallocation to address a pending fiscal exigency and would not affect future allocations to the Capital Improvements Fund.

The approval of the electors of the City of Toledo is required to reallocate portions of the Capital Improvements Fund to the General Fund because the original allocation was mandated by the people. NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it resolved by the Council of the City of Toledo:

SECTION 1. That there by submitted to the electors of the City of Toledo at a Regular Municipal Election to be held on November 3, 2009, the question of the approval of reallocation on a one time basis of funds allocated to the Capital Improvement fund to the General Fund.

SECTION 2. In accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 718.01, the Board of Elections of Lucas County, Ohio is directed to provide for the submitting of the question of passing Ordinance No. ___-09 at the Regular Municipal Election on November 3, 2009.

SECTION 3. That the Clerk of Council be and he is hereby authorized and directed to file with the Board of Elections of Lucas County, Ohio a certified copy of Ordinance No. ___-09 and a certified copy of this Resolution for the submission of the aforesaid Ordinance at the Regular Municipal Election to be held on November 3, 2009, and the said Clerk of Council is further directed to request the aforesaid Board of Elections to provide for the submitting of the questions of passing said Ordinance at such election.

SECTION 4. That is the desire and request of this Council that ballots for said questions shall be substantially in the following form:

Proposed reallocation in 2009 on, a one-time basis, of funds in an amount not to exceed three million nine hundred thousand dollars ($3,900,000) allocated pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1905 of the Toledo Municipal Code, for the Capital Improvements Fund to the General Fund.

A Majority Affirmative Vote is Necessary for Passage.

Shall Ordinance No. ___-09, providing for the reallocation in 2009 on, a one-time basis, of funds in an amount not to exceed three million nine hundred thousand dollars ($3,900,000) allocated pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1905 of the Toledo Municipal Code, for the Capital Improvement fund to the General Fund be approved?


______________For the reallocation of Capital Improvements Funds to the General Fund.

______________Against the reallocation of Capital Improvements Funds to the General Fund.

SECTION 5. That the Clerk of this Council shall and hereby is directed to file a copy of this Resolution with the Board of Lucas County, Ohio no later than the 19th day of August 2009.

SECTION 6. That this Resolution hereby is declared to be an emergency measure and shall be in force and effect from and after its adoption. The reason for the emergency lies in the fact that same is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and property and for the further reason that this Resolution must be immediately effective in order to comply with the statutory deadline for submission of the question to the electors at the November 3, 2009 Regular Municipal Election and for the further reason that this Resolution must be filed with the Board of Election at least seventy five (75) days before the election.

Carty did send a letter to city council stressing that if the September issue is approved, they could remove this item from the November ballot, but if voters reject the transfer of funds in September, this measure could still be supported and allow the city to have a balanced budget, as required by law.

1 comment:

GaryLewis said...

Dig the hole deeper. That's a really good idea! Not!

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