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Published: Wednesday, 12/3/2008

Property tax fight over land resolved in Rossford, Perrysburg Township

BY CLAUDIA BOYD-BARRETT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Years of bickering between Perrysburg Township and the City of Rossford over the distribution of property taxes from land annexed to the city has finally come to an end.

Last week, Perrysburg Township trustees and Rossford's city council approved an agreement that clarifies the terms of a 1993 revenue-sharing deal.

The original agreement called for the city to share a portion of the property taxes collected on land annexed for commercial development. However, the terms were ambiguous and did not specify how to calculate the amount of tax the township is entitled to, officials from both sides said.

The land in question runs along State Rt. 795 near I-75 and the Ohio Turnpike, and includes the Crossroads of America shopping area. The estimated value of the property that falls under the agreement is just over $100 million.

Under the new arrangement, the city of Rossford will calculate the percentage of tax owed to the township based on real estate values determined by the Wood County auditor. The agreement goes into effect this month, with a payment of $17,611 to the township.

Future payments, which according to current values would be around $35,000, will be made every Sept. 1 for the next 12 years.

"This agreement that we arrived at is basically a start-over agreement," said Perrysburg Township Trustee Robert Mack. "It also allows the township to capitalize on more enhanced growth in the Crossroads than what was occurring as far back as '93."

For Rossford, the agreement means a slight drop in revenue for the city. Administrator Ed Ciecka said the city had been paying the township around $5,500 a year, but that amount will now increase significantly. That's partly because the previous payment amount was calculated based on property values at the time the land was annexed, he explained. Mr. Ciecka said the city had budgeted for the difference.

"Any time we lose some money, there's always some concern, but you have to budget within your revenue," Mr. Ciecka said. "We've been planning on that this year and it's taken into consideration for next year's budget already."

Rossford Mayor Bill Verbosky, Jr., said the agreement benefits both communities.

"It's our way of fostering good relations with our neighbors," Mr. Verbosky said. "We want to look forward and the township wants to look forward, and that's the reason we came to this agreement."

Perrysburg Township Administrator John Hrosko said the deal, which took two years of negotiating, went a long way toward mending a sometimes-rocky relationship between the city and township.

"Any time two entities can come together and talk instead of going to litigation improves relations," Mr. Hrosko said. "It's a more wholesome thing to have two communities sit down and iron out their problems."



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