The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Mike Beazley, Oregon City Administrator, would like to clarify some information provided by the city tax department and printed in a column last week by John Szozda. While income tax revenue in 2009 decreased 10.6 percent, the total included a one-time repayment of $1.5 million to a company that overpaid its taxes in 2008 by $2 million.

Beazley said income tax revenue for 2007-2009 was “fairly flat but slightly declining,” while revenue in 2010 is tracking about 10 percent less than 2009 for an expected total of $15.5 million.

Lucas County auditor Anita Lopez disagrees with any proposal to re-evaluate real estate property on an annual basis.

“If we get into the habit of trying to adjust the values every year, during the tough times, and then during the good times do we want the values to go up every year as the market improves? So, do you really want to identify trends in the market?” Lopez said.

“Citizens aren’t going to like that either, say, when unemployment decreases, income starts to solidify again, people start buying homes, add more wealth, the country starts doing better again, do you want to increase the values every year which generates an increase in inside millage, for sure, in taxes? That will be an increase in taxes if we do that every year.”

Lopez, a Democrat, is being challenged in the November 2 election by Republican Gina-Marie Kaczala. Lopez spoke to the East Toledo Club during its monthly luncheon at the Weber Block. Kaczala was invited to appear in a debate-format, but could not attend.

Kaczala has over 21 years experience at the Lucas County Auditor's Office, and says she “will represent all taxpayers and not a chosen few” on her Facebook page. She is supported by Ohio Veterans United.

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The Oregon City Schools district has a 5.9-mill five-year emergency operating levy on Tuesday’s ballot.

The district faces a $2 million deficit for the 2011-2012 school year. If passed, the levy is expected to bring in $3.4 million annually.

In the last three years, the school board has cut $8 million from the operating budget.

If the levy does not pass, the school board will reduce the operating budget by about $2 million for the 2011 – 2012 school year by cutting 20 additional teaching and staff positions, eliminating the Career & Tech program,  reducing kindergarten from all day every day to all day every other day, increasing athletic participation fees, reducing cleaning services to buildings, eliminating or significantly reducing bus service for all high school students, and implementing a process to close an elementary school and/or reconfigure the district.

If the levy passes, the district would be in good shape financially for the next five years, according to its five year forecast.

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Northwood voters on Tuesday will decide whether to approve a .25 increase in the municipal income tax.

The income tax rate, currently at 1.5 percent, would increase to 1.75 percent if the measure is approved.

City officials in the last year have made drastic cuts in personnel and services as a result of a reduction of income tax revenue collected due to the poor economy.

Council during the summer debated the need for a tax increase, as well as other options, including charging residents for refuse collection, and reducing or eliminating tax credits to residents who work outside the city.

Council several weeks ago rejected the latter two options, and approved placing the 25 percent municipal income tax increase for three years on Tuesday’s ballot. The revenue would provide funds for capital improvements, capital reinvestment and operating expenses.

Mayor Mark Stoner told The Press last week that choosing to place the measure on the ballot was the better option because it allows residents to decide whether to contribute more payroll taxes instead of the alternatives of more budget cuts, paying a refuse collection fee, or having tax credits reduced or eliminated. Council has the authority to bill residents for refuse collection and eliminate or reduce the tax credit.

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Oregon city council on Monday will consider a contract with the Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity to provide $40,000 of Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) funds for the construction of two single family homes in the city.
 
If passed, the city will pay $40,000, or $20,000 per house, to Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity to enable two eligible families chosen by Habitat to become homeowners.
 
“They will probably use this money either to purchase the lot that they will build the houses on, or for some of the construction costs,” Finance Director Kathy Hufford, said at a committee of the whole meeting Oct. 18.
 
Households selected must have a gross family income at or below 65 percent of the current area median income for the city. Households must complete Habitat homebuyer counseling training and perform volunteer labor hours prior to occupancy.
 
Construction and loan closings are to be completed by August 31, 2012.

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 CommonPeople1

Giving money to people along road

Do you feel compelled to give money to people holding signs along the road asking for money?
1329229448 [{"id":"10","title":"No, I'm not sure they're legitimate.","votes":"6","pct":46.15,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"11","title":"No, I'm afraid they will use it for drugs.","votes":"4","pct":30.77,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"12","title":"Yes, I feel good about helping someone down on their luck.","votes":"3","pct":23.08,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"13","title":"Yes, we could all end up like that.","votes":"0","pct":0,"type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /communitypolls/vote/1-root.html?Itemid=190&id=5 No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...