A special election will be held today in Clark County, including two municipalities and one school district seeking new money for the second time in less than six months.
Here’s five things to know about Election Day:
Crossroads in Springfield: The city of Springfield is seeking an income tax increase for the second straight election.
Residents will vote whether to raise the city’s income tax for 5½ years from 2 percent to 2.4 percent.
“We’re definitely at a crossroads here in Springfield,” City Manager Jim Bodenmiller told the Springfield News-Sun last month. “We either get the additional revenue to invest it back in the community or we’re going to see continued decline.”
If approved, the tax would generate an additional $6.7 million annually. For a worker making $30,000 a year, it would cost an additional $10 per month. That worker’s municipal taxes would increase from about $600 to $720 annually.
The money will be used to add more police officers, fix roads and replace the cuts to state funding and to maintain current services. The city would also re-open both Fire Station No. 5 and the police substation on Johnny Lytle Avenue, both of which closed on Jan. 1 due to budget cuts.
Critics of the income tax increase have said it will make the city less attractive for prospective residents and businesses and that Springfield leaders should look to instead save money by consolidating services with other local governments.
The city projects generating $38.4 million in general fund revenues this year. It also estimates spending about $39 million, leaving about a $600,000 deficit.
A similar proposal was rejected by 227 votes in November.
Updated schools: Clark-Shawnee Local Schools are back on the ballot asking residents to approve the same school bond issue voters denied in November.
Voters will cast ballots on a $37.2 million bond issue. If approved, the district would spend $52.8 million to build a new elementary school across the street from Shawnee High School and renovate the high school. Possum, Reid and Rockway elementary schools would close. The state would pay about 30 percent of the costs of the new schools, about $15.6 million.
“The average age of our elementaries are 92 years old,” Superintendent Gregg Morris said. “This district has needed new schools for a long time.”
Residents opposing the bond have told the News-Sun district leaders aren’t listening to residents and should have waited at least a year before placing it back on the ballot.
The issue would cost the owner of a $100,000 property more than $15 a month.
The bond issue failed by less than 200 votes in November.
One school building: Greenon Local Schools are asking voters to approve a $36 million bond issue to build a new pre-k through 12th grade building on the current Indian Valley site.
The 6.98-mill bond issue would cost a taxpayer who owns a $100,000 property in the school district a little more than $20 a month. The total cost of the project if approved would be $54 million, with the state picking up $18 million through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
The district asked voters for new schools in 2013 and the issue failed. The district currently has three buildings: Enon Primary, Indian Valley Intermediate and Greenon High School.
“We will only have one facility to maintain as oppose to three separate and then it also allows us to better utilize our staff,” Superintendent Brad Silvus said. “Right now we have staff members who have to travel between buildings two or three times a day and they will be all under one roof.”
More police: The village of Enon is asking voters to again approve a 5-mill levy that would go to the police department to hire more officers. A similar measure failed in November.
The five-year tax would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $175 a year, or about $14 a month.
Voting times: The polls for the election will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Updated results can be found at SpringfieldNewsSun.com.
FIVE NEWS-SUN MUST READS
By the numbers
$37.2 million:Amount of new property tax money Clark-Shawnee is seeking over the next 37 years, if levy is approved.
$36 million: Amount of new property tax money Greenon is seeking over the next 37 years, if levy is approved.
$6.7 million: Amount of new income tax money Springfield is seeking annually over the next 5½ years, if tax increase is approved.
The Springfield News-Sun digs into important issues that affect your taxes, including recent stories on school levies and the city of Springfield’s proposed income tax increase.