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Published: 7/31/2013 - Updated: 8 months ago

Disabilities board seeks new 1-mill tax

Issue to be on Nov. 5 ballot

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities will ask voters in November to replace two continuous property levies and add a new 1-mill tax.

The Lucas County commissioners voted 3-0 this week to authorize the developmental disabilities agency to put the tax issue on the Nov. 5 general-election ballot.

The agency’s proposal, approved in June by the Lucas County Citizens Levy Review Committee, calls for rolling the two continuous levies into one and adding 1 mill in a replacement levy totaling 1.8 mills. The issue will appear on the ballot as a single proposal.

John Trunk, superintendent of developmental disabilities, said the current levies of 0.3 and 0.5 mills are based on property values from 1958 and 1973, respectively — the years in which they first passed — and combined generate about $2 million annually.

The two replacement issues would generate about $3.5 million a year, and the 1-mill addition would provide nearly $6.8 million annually in revenue.

Mr. Trunk said the revenue from property taxes and state assistance has fallen to what the agency received in 2008, the last year it went on the ballot with a levy request, and the agency will deplete its reserves next year without additional money.

“At the same time, we are seeing an increase in demand for services,” he said. “We have a growing need for services, but income is going in the opposite direction.”

The new millage and replacement request would mean the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $186 a year, or an increase of $63.

Mr. Trunk said the agency has cut expenses in recent years to stretch taxpayers’ dollars, including cutting positions, and changes were made to bring in more federal Medicaid money.

“Our board felt we were in the position of not being able to wait any longer, and this would affect the more than 5,000 consumers with developmental disabilities who rely on the board every day for support and services,” he said.

The developmental disabilities board’s tax request and a proposed renewal of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s 0.4-mill levy will be the only countywide issues on the November ballot.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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