Sunday, July 01, 2012

My taxes will be increased by what?!?

The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce is now sending out a quarterly Public Affairs newsletter and their first issue featured an article on the amount of tax increases people will see if the projected amount of seven levies actually make it on the November ballot and are approved.

It's sobering reading, especially in a recession.

Estimating the impact

The Chamber, as I have in my posts, sticks with the example of a home valued at $100,000, which is what levy supporters and media have used for as long as I can remember. This year, however, most supporters and media are using a home valued at $60,000 for their example of how much an individual increase will cost.

A quick check of median price of home sales for the first quarter of 2012 in Lucas County shows that the $100,000 figure is still accurate, as the chart at clearly shows. What is also interesting is that the chart shows the median price of home sales hasn't dropped below $75,000 since at least 2007, much less reach the $60,000 mark levy proponents and media are currently referencing.

Most recent Census data (2006-2010) shows the median value of owner-occupied housing units in Lucas County is $122,400.

To use the $60,000 is, in my opinion, designed intentionally to make the proposed increases seem less than they actually are.

How you are affected

Because of the various jurisdictions, it's often difficult to figure out exactly what the increases mean to you. Fortunately, the Chamber has included a detailed listing by jurisdiction so you can include any school issues in your evaluation of the impact. The data is linked at the bottom of the article. Be sure to note how the Chamber defines the levy categories:

Critical Levies must be passed by the end of 2012 or levy funding expires 12/31/12. Eligible Levies can be put on the ballot one year before levy funding expires. As an example, Imagination Station does not have to pass a levy in 2012. This levy can be put on the ballot in 2013 if necessary since its funding expires 12/31/13. New levies are being placed on the ballot for the first time and represent new dollars assessed if they pass.

The newsletter was sent out to 4,000 people and they granted permission for me to publish it. It is factual and accurate and I encourage you to share it with everyone.

My Taxes Will be Increased by What?

As many as seven levies could be voted on by Lucas County residents this November, as school districts, parks, museums and social services are placing their requests for funding on the ballot. The vote will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 during the national general election.

The largest request comes from the Toledo Public Schools, seeking 6.9 mills of new money. If passed, this would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 an additional $211.28 in taxes per year. The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, which now includes ADAS, also are asking for a new 1.0 mill levy. The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library is asking voters to renew their current 2.0 mills, and increase that tax by an additional 0.9 mills and The Children's Services Board also is asking to renew their current 1.0 mill tax and increase it by 0.85 mills. The Imagination Station is seeking to renew their current tax of 0.17 mills.

Two additional levies could be placed on the ballot in the coming week. The Toledo City Council will vote on Tuesday, July 2 on a proposed 1.0 mill recreation levy. The Metroparks of the Toledo Area will decide at a board meeting this week whether to renew their current 0.30 millage levy or seek an increase.

The voters will decide which of these levies will be passed. To give you an example of how your tax bill could increase, we have calculated the amount if all proposed levies are approved by the people. Check the charts below to see your potential tax liability:

I live in Toledo, in the Toledo Public Schools District

I live in Toledo, in the Washington Local Schools District

I live in Maumee, in the Maumee City Schools District

I live in Oregon, in the Oregon City Schools District

I live in Ottawa Hills, in the Ottawa Hills Local Schools District

I live in Springfield Township, in the Springfield Local Schools District

I live in Sylvania, in the Sylvania City Schools District

I live in Sylvania Township, in the Sylvania City Schools District

I will have more on the individual levies in the future. Toledo City Council has their Parks levy on the agenda for their meeting Tuesday.

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