breaking news

Unemployment up slightly in Clark County, job growth slow in Ohio

Council to vote on adding unpaid utility bills to property taxes


Yellow Springs Village Council will vote tonight on legislation that would add delinquent utility bills to a homeowner’s property taxes.

The legislation is one of several measures the council is considering to collect unpaid utility bills.

Delinquent utility bills, which include electric, water, sewer and solid waste, result in an annual revenue loss of about $22,000, according to village documents. Over an eight-year period starting in 2006, overdue utility bills for 593 delinquent accounts totaled $190,088.33, according to village data.

“Anytime someone’s delinquent in their bills, there’s always the possibility that could be passed on to other people through an increase,” Yellow Springs Village Manager Patti Bates said to council members during the Aug. 4 meeting. “We don’t want to do that if we don’t have to.”

In addition to adding the delinquent bills to a homeowner’s tax bill, the finance director, Melissa Vanzant, suggested the village require all utilities customers to pay a deposit. Currently, village homeowners are exempted from paying a utility deposit.

Vanzant also suggested the village keep utility deposits until a customer pays the final bill instead of the current practice of returning the deposit to the customer after two years.

“It’s better than sending a bill collector after them,” said Yellow Springs Village Council President Karen Wintrow. “… This has been a concern for years …We have to start a plan and this is, to me, is the first step.”

Homeowners account for a small percentage of village residents with overdue utility bills, according to village data. Renters who move out of the area account for 75 percent of the delinquent accounts.

In a report, Vanzant, attributed the delinquent accounts to deaths, foreclosures, bankruptcies, abandoned homes, contractors using temporary utilities who leave town and renters who move out of town leaving balances on their accounts.

“If we continue to have delinquencies, in order to cover it, my bill might have to rise and I would have a problem with that,” said Yellow Springs Village Councilman Gerald Simms.

If council passes the legislation, the four or five homeowners with overdue utility bills will get a certified letter giving them a final opportunity to pay before adding the amount to their tax bills. If they don’t pay before delinquent amount is added to their property taxes, the money will be collected by the county auditor in two installments, according to Bates.

These homeowners would also be charged a 10 percent assessment fee. Half of the revenue from the fee would go to the county auditor. The village would receive the other half, according to Bates.

If the council votes against the measure, the village would not be able to collect the delinquent funds. The village can assess overdue utility payments for the previous eight years to a homeowner’s property taxes.

“This isn’t about being heartless,” Wintrow said. ” This is about trying to help the entire community.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

State considers punishing cities that use traffic, red-light cameras
State considers punishing cities that use traffic, red-light cameras

State lawmakers are holding hearings today on a bill that would cut state funding to cities using speed and red-light cameras. House Bill 410, sponsored by Cincinnati Republican Rep. Bill Seitz and Oakwood Rep. Jim Butler, would require cities to file all traffic camera cases in municipal court and would reduce state funding to cities by the same amount...
Ohio inmate wants to be killed by firing squad
Ohio inmate wants to be killed by firing squad

Attorneys for a condemned killer whose execution was stopped last year after 25 minutes of unsuccessful needle sticks are once again recommending the firing squad as an alternative. The execution could also proceed if the state adopts a closely regulated lethal injection process that includes a headpiece to monitor the brain activity of death row inmate...
President Trump signs bill ending government shutdown
President Trump signs bill ending government shutdown

A Senate standoff that partially shuttered the federal government for nearly three days ended Monday when Senate Democrats agreed to support a bill to re-open the federal government through Feb. 8. Sen. Sherrod Brown joined 31 Democrats and independent Angus King of Maine in backing the spending bill, which they did under the condition that the GOP...
Where do Ohio senators stand on shutdown vote?
Where do Ohio senators stand on shutdown vote?

The Senate has set for a noon vote today on a bill that would pay for the government to stay open through Feb. 8 — 10 days shorter than the original Feb. 18 end date that the House had passed. The idea, suggested Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was that the Senate would immediately after that move to resolve a debate over how to treat immigrants...
Springfield to vote on adding sexual orientation to discrimination law
Springfield to vote on adding sexual orientation to discrimination law

Springfield city commissioners will vote later this month on whether to add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination ordinance, a topic that’s long been discussed at meetings since it was rejected more than five years ago. The commissioners — including newly elected Commissioners David Estrop and Rob Rue — will vote on the issue...
More Stories