A MESSAGE FROM THE TRUSTEES
Blendon Township voters will decide on Safety Service Levies in the primary election on March 15, 2016. The current levies for the Police and Fire/Emergency Services (EMS) produced less money than expected due to the recent recession. The drop in property values caused decreased funding for these very important services. They are aimed at maintaining a high level of service for Police and Fire/EMS. A great deal of time and effort has gone into keeping the costs as low as possible, but reports show it will cost more money for the next six years to maintain our existing level of services.
Due to State Law, the rate of these levies is reduced over time so that the revenues generated by the levy do not increase as the value of properties increase. Therefore, as the cost of delivering these services increase, the City and Township must periodically seek an increase in the approved tax levy rates to capture the inflationary value that state law otherwise prohibits. We believe these levies are necessary to maintain the level of Police and Fire/EMS services that you deserve.
What is the 2.8 mill property tax issue that Fire levy Blendon Township and the City of Westerville are proposing? The Westerville Division of Fire, which provides Fire and EMS to the residents and business by contract to those of Blendon Township, is funded by a series of dedicated, voter-approved property tax levies in the City and Township. (The City of Westerville will hold its own levy for their residents).
How much am I currently paying for this service and what will this increase cost me? Currently, property owners are paying roughly $350 per year for Fire and EMS services for every $100,000 of home market value. If voters approve this levy request, they will pay an additional $98 per year, or $8.17 per month, (less than a 28 cent per day increase) for every $100,000 of home value.
What is the 5.75 mill property tax issue that the Blendon Township Police is proposing? The Blendon Police Department provides police protection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Police levy provides over half of the total police department’s operating budget. The current expiring levy is 4.0 mills. This proposed levy would only be a 1.75 mill increase. With this levy, the annual cost to the resident based on a $100,000 market value will only increase by $53.60. This would bring the cost to $360.16. This is only 98 cents per day or an increase of 15 cents per day for every $100,000 of home value.
Passage of these levies is crucial if we expect Police and Fire/EMS services to be maintained at the present level.
Stew Flaherty, Jan Heichel, Jim Welch
and Fiscal Officer, Wade Estep
Follow this link to an informative Columbus Dispatch article about local police budgets: