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Lopez comments on economy, real estate values
Written by J. Patrick Eaken   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:45

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.

 
Oregon schools seeks 5.9 mill levy on Tuesday
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:44

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.

 
Northwood - Voters to decide on income tax increase
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:43

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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