Vote Yes On Seven Hills Issue 41

Issue 41 Impact on Property Taxes

Issue 41 will ask Seven Hills voters to approve, or not, a proposed 1.4 mil “additional tax” for the purpose of parks and recreation. This tax will provide a continuing revenue stream essential for the operations, upkeep, and improvements to our six parks and our Community Recreation Center, as well as for recreational programs.

When I was chairman of City Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee I saw the need for such a dedicated revenue stream. While the Community Recreation Center generated revenue from memberships, fees, and rentals, its expenses were still appropriated from the General Fund. As for our six parks, budgets usually only allowed for only basic maintenance, with money again appropriated from the General Fund.

Here are some things I’d like you to know about Issue 41:

The term “additional tax” may be confusing for some of you. The proposed millage is actually a new tax since there is currently no tax specifically for the purpose of parks and recreation.

Expiring this year is a 1.65 mil bond issue for the Community Recreation Center. The revenue from it was only allowed to be used to pay down the debt incurred for the cost of the facility’s original construction.

With the passage of Issue 41, you will see a slight decrease in property taxes. Here’s how that works:

As noted above the 1.65 mil levy for the bond issue expires this year. In other words the mortgage on the Community Recreation Center will be paid off. This results in 1.65 mils coming off your 2021 tax duplicates.

At 1.65 mills you pay $57.75 per $100, 000 of valuation ($50.53 with the Homestead Exemption). The new levy is for 1.4 mils. Should it pass you would pay $49.00 per $100,000.

In addition, the new levy is designed to raise a specific amount of revenue, estimated at $490,240 per year. This means that the 1.4 mils will be adjusted downward should your property valuation increase due to inflation.

The revenue raised by this levy can only be used for expenses related to the operation, maintenance and improvements to the Recreation Center and Seven Hills’ six parks, as well as recreational programs. Without this revenue stream these expenses would have to come out of the General Fund, effectively decreasing funding for other City projects.

The City could also see the City’s bond rating go up. This would make it easier and less expensive for the City to borrow the money needed for major projects.

Taking all these factors into consideration, the Mayor and City Council determined that the timing was right to put this issue on the ballot this fall.

Amenities like parks and recreation facilities and programs often get short shrift in city budgets. However, they contribute to the vibrancy, quality-of-life and attractiveness of a city, including Seven Hills, with a resulting impact on property values.

With proper financing, our six parks, Community Recreation Center and recreation programs can be the first-rate amenities we’d all like them to be. Please join me in voting “Yes” on Issue 41!

Bob Wrobel

Former Seven Hills Councilman.

Former Chairman, Parks & Recreation Committee.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 11:59 PM, 09.30.2020