Nelsonville's Ballot To Feature Capital Improvement Tax Renewal

By
Tyler Buchanan - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Sat, Oct 19, 2013 4:49 pm

Nelsonville residents will decide on the November ballot whether to renew a .25 percent tax levy, one that would go toward capital improvement throughout the city and does not represent any new tax for local citizens.

“Fifteen years ago (the city) put a quarter of a percent tax on to pay for the debt of the pool,” Nelsonville Auditor Sue Powell said. “That debt is paid off this year and the tax comes off.”

But due to economic restraints and loss of state funding, Powell said, the city is hoping to renew that .25 percent levy to help pay for further street maintenance, equipment for local fire and police departments and other projects.

This levy does not represent any additional taxes, nor does it affect retirees or those who do not have earned income, according to Powell. As a renewal levy, Nelsonville income taxpayers would pay their existing tax rate if the levy were to pass.

“It’s not an increase in tax, it’s not a new tax,” Powell said. “We’re trying very hard ... to keep the rate the same for our residents and those who are working in our city.”

Over the past three years, the .25 percent tax has raised nearly $250,000 annually, Powell said. But at the same time, local government funds from the state have been significantly reduced, she added.

“If (the levy) does not pass, there are some severe consequences for the city,” Powell said. “It’s not going to be threatening, but we would have to drastically cut expenses ... it could be going to a volunteer fire department, turning off the streets lights, reduced police force.”

Residents will also decide whether to renew a five-year, .5 mill recreation levy to benefit the Nelsonville Park and Recreation Department. The levy, if passed, would provide more than $16,000 to the department and other youth athletic programs, The Messenger previously reported.

The five-year .5 mill levy means that owners of a $100,000 property would pay $50 annually.

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