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Published: Wednesday, 8/13/2003

Monclova voters getting 2nd shot at tax

Toledo City Council voted to team up again with Maumee and Monclova Township to set up a joint economic development zone in the township.

If township voters approve the agreement in the Nov. 4 election, residents and businesses in the 579-acre zone, including the Briarfield Boulevard business area, would pay a 1.5 percent income tax.

An identical agreement was defeated in township voting last November by only three votes.

Council approved its part of the agreement during a special meeting yesterday. The vote was 10-0 with two councilmen absent.

The zone would allow the three entities to evenly split the 1.5-percent income tax, and it protects Monclova Township from further encroachment by the city of Maumee.

“There would be no annexation of Monclova property for 30 years, unless all three entities agreed, which protects us,” said Keith Trettin, chairman of the township trustees.

Revenue from the joint-economic development zone could help offset the township's increasing expenses for additional services in that area, such as for police and fire equipment, without having to ask voters for tax money, Mr. Trettin said.

Maumee approved the agreement Monday.

Representatives of the Briarfield business community, through their attorney, rejected a proposal made to address their objections to the economic development zone, said Sheilah McAdams, Maumee's law director.

Ms. McAdams said the township's board of trustees will consider Monday whether to take action to place the issue on the ballot.

Also yesterday, Toledo council members were briefed by the mayor's office on the latest proposal to tap the city's police-tow operators for additional revenue.

The new plan raises tow fees paid by vehicle owners from $70 to $80 per vehicle, with the additional $10 to be paid by the tow operators to the city.

The mayor's office budgeted $175,000 in revenue in the current year from increased tow fees, but the administration and city council have not yet reached agreement on how to generate the new revenues.

The latest plan, up for a possible vote Tuesday, would raise as much as $140,000 a year, said John Loftus, the city's assistant chief operating officer.

In addition, the city would claim a bigger share of the proceeds of the sale of unclaimed vehicles.

The 12 licensed tow operators now collect 80 percent of the value of scrapped or auctioned vehicles. The new ordinance would give tow operators 40 percent, and the city 60 percent.

Mr. Loftus said the tow operation costs the city $800,000 a year. Police tows are ordered after accidents or as part of crime investigations, and for abandoned vehicles.



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