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County Health District Seeking Levy Renewal



When Fulton County voters go to the polls on Tuesday, May 7, they will be asked to approve a renewal of a tax levy for the county health district.

The district, which technically operates the Fulton County Health Department, is asking voters to approve a renewal of a half-mill (.5) property tax levy.

Brett Kolb, county auditor, estimated that if county voters approve the levy, it will bring in about $482,000.

“Basically, this is a fair amount of our working capital,” said Michael Oricko, county health commissioner.

“It pays for programs for which no outside funding is available.”

The programs include such things as nuisance abatement programs, school inspections, and some vaccination programs.

Money raised by the property tax also helps supply the local share required by many grant programs.

“Not all grants cover the entire cost of the programs. Without property tax money, we would not be able to bring in other grants we need to maintain services,” Oricko said.

Cost-Cutting

Oricko said over the years, health department officials have made significant reductions in costs and personnel.

“When we did our five-year financial forecast six years ago, we saw this coming,” he said.

“We looked to make cuts in personnel through attrition. I don’t think any of the people we serve have seen any cuts in services.”

Kolb said additional property tax for the health district was approved in the 1993 spring election. In the 2003 spring election, voters approved replacing the levy rather than renewing it.

Under Ohio law, property tax revenue cannot grow as property values appreciate. To compensate, the millage collected is reduced, so the levy brings in no more than it did the first year it was approved by voters.

If voters approve the renewal of a levy, it continues to be collected at the reduced rate, known as the effective rate.

However, when a property tax levy is replaced, the levy is collected based on current property values. Effectively, the levy is reset to current property values.

Kolb estimated the current effective rate for the health district levy is about 4.56 mills.

For the owner of a house with a market value of $100,000 who lives in that residence, the property tax levy will be $13.96 per year.

If voters approve the levy renewal, it will remain on the books for 10 years.

Other Issues

There is only one other countywide issue on the May ballot: a renewal of a seventenths (.7) of a mill property tax levy for operation of the 911 emergency phone system.

If approved, the levy will raise about $597,000 to operate the system, and will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $21.44 per year. It will need to be renewed or replaced again in five years.

•Voters in Clinton Township, including the city of Wauseon, will be asked to renew a one-mill, five-year levy for road improvements.

The current effective millage is about .741 of a mill, and it is anticipated to raise about $170,038. For the owner of a $100,000 home, the tax bill will be $22.69.

•Gorham Township voters are being asked for an additional two-mill property tax levy for five years for firefighting expenses, including the purchase and maintenance of fire apparatus, and payment of firefighters.

•Pike Township voters will be asked to replace their half-mill (.5), five-year fire levy.

•Voters in the Pike-Delta- York school district will be asked to approve a levy for current expenses for the Delta Library.

The levy seeks the renewal of an existing one mill, plus an increase of one mill, for a total of two mills.

•Voters in the Swanton school district are being asked to approved a $13,499,000, 35-year bond issue for construction, enlarging, or remodeling of a school building, plus an additional half mill (.5) for five years for construction, renovation, and financing of general permanent improvements.

The millage charged to taxpayers to repay the bonds is expected to average 3.9 mills.



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