Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Where will the cuts come from now that the 3/4% temporary tax has passed?

Toledo voters overwhelmingly approved the 3/4% temporary payroll tax renewal yesterday by about 60%-40%. So you're probably wondering why I'm asking about cuts now that the tax has passed - right?

Well, here's why:

The current distribution of the tax, per the Toledo Municipal Code, is as follows:

1905.14. Allocation of funds.
(c) Allocation of Three-Quarters Percent (3/4%) Tax Increase. Commencing January 1, 2005, one-third of the increase in funds resulting from the continuation (by Ordinance No. 546-04 which was approved by the City's electorate on November 2, 2004), of the prior increase of three-quarters percent (3/4%) in the City's income tax, as originally provided in Ordinance No. 157-82, passed by the Council of the City of Toledo on March 16, 1982, and approved by the City's electorate on June 8, 1982, shall remain in the General Fund for police, fire and other Safety Department responsibilities, one-half (1/2) of said increase shall remain in the General Fund, and one-sixth (1/6) of the said increase shall be allocated to the Capital Improvements Fund.

Since the tax generates about $57.7 million per year, that means:
* $19 million to police/fire/other safety department responsibilities
* $28.75 million to the General Fund
* $9.6 million to the Capital Improvement Fund

But the ballot language that was approved changed the distribution as of January 1, 2009. From the Board of Elections website:

Continuation of a three-fourths percent (3/4%) levy on income (one-third (1/3) to the General Fund for police, fire and other Safety Department responsibilities, one-third (1/3) to the General Fund, and one-third (1/3) to the Capital Improvements Fund), commencing January 1, 2009, and ending December 31, 2012.

That means that the revenue from this tax gets split equally with about $19 million to each category.

Now, it should be easy to see that with the CIP getting more money, the general fund (including police/fire/other safety department responsibilities) gets less - $9.75 million less, to be exact.

So, despite the claim by Council President Mark Sobczak that "(i)t'll be business as usual...", it really won't be if the general fund has to go without approximately $10 million starting in January.

So where will roughly $10 million in cuts come from? Inquiring minds want to know.


Hooda Thunkit said...


That's the trigger to jettison the garbage collection.

Somebody has been waiting a long time for "His Dishonor" to make good on this promise...

And, don't be surprised if "His Dishonor" magically goes to work for a certain garbage disposal company in the future; after he has thoroughly worn out his welcome in government (which should have already happened).

But hey I'm thinking, guessing and drawing on my experience/memories here ;-)

Tim Higgins said...


I agree with hooda, but will add this. Now that the income tax is out of the way, the city council is free to work its will upon the trash fee without us pesky voters getting in the way - so much for that.

Add, or actually subtract a few police and fire fighters through the attrition of retirement, then promis police and fire classes that never happen, and slowly but surely the numbers will begin to gel.

Let's not be surprised by no real changes to the contracts coming up for renegotiation in the fall though. You cannot bite the hand that just fed you.

Robin said...

Got a feeling that they will still make cuts in police/fire. And they won't open up the city pools and cut back on the upkeep of city parks in the summer.

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