Monday, February 02, 2009

City of Xenia Operating Levy

Tomorrow February 3, 2009 we in Xenia have an opportunity to vote on an increase on the city operating levy. This is an increase of 1.5 mils. According to my property tax calculator this would increase my taxes by $6 a month. While I hate paying higher taxes and I hate the idea of property taxes in general. I feel in this case that my money would be used on expenses that local government should be spending money on. I not thrilled this this tax increase may force some other homeowner to pay higher taxes when they cannot afford it. However,I feel that $6 a month shouldn't break anyone. I emailed Jim Percival, the city Manager and Mark Bazalek, the Finance Director. Here is their responses.

Thank you for your interest in the February 3rd tax issue on the ballot. The tax levy additional dollars would be utilized to cover any cash flow shortfalls from general operations. These general operations include police, fire, and street maintenance as illustrated in the insert with the utility bill. Any amount generated over our two month operating reserve requirement can be utilized for general capital improvements. Capital improvements projected for 2010 include replacement of fire and police equipment and vehicles, the City share of grant funded projects like the Jamestown Bikeway Connector and the West Main Enhancement Project which would improve the gateway in to our City. Basically the dollars would be utilized to maintain, and improve if the economy turns around, the level of service to the citizens.

Mark Bazelak

Thank you, for inquiring about the request on the ballot February 3. The City of Xenia funds the majority of our Capital improvements through the surplus generated in our Key Operating Funds. In 2003 we were generating less income than we were expending, and we eliminated 15 positions across the board at that time. We have projected our revenues and expenditures over the next 10 years, and if nothing changes we will be in a negative cash flow position in 2010. If you wish I would be happy to share the projections with you.

The short answer to your question is that the revenue generated will be used to support capital purchases and projects. We have and will continue to do everything that we can to keep our costs contained; however, there are several costs that have risen that we cannot control. Two examples are salt and asphalt. Our cost for road salt rose over 30 % this past year. We are using this resource as tightly as we can but no one can control Mother Nature. The cost of asphalt doubled last summer; therefore we could only complete half of the projects that we had hoped. Without additional revenue we cannot keep up with the projects that need to be completed. These are only two examples, there are many more costs that have risen significantly even in the past couple of years.

Again, thanks for your inquiry. If I can be of further assistance please contact me.

Jim Percival

City Manager

1 comment:

Brian said...

Thank you both for the card. Thanks for thinking of me! :-)