Levy would increase Sylvania Township's tax revenue


Sylvania Township expects to take in about $7.3 million in tax revenue in 2015, compared to about $5.5 million in 2014, if voters approve a 1.5-mill operating levy for the township fire department on the ballot in November, according to a report released this week. 

Township officials prepared the report to show residents how the levy will affect township finances. 

If passed by voters, the continual levy would collect about $1.81 million annually for the fire department‘‍s operations, including replacing aging equipment and vehicles. It would cost the owner with a $150,000 home $78 a year. Officials have estimated the levy funds would suffice for seven years.

Total revenue is estimated to be $9 million in 2015, which includes revenue other than taxes, such as revenue from township services or permits.

The budget projects expenses to increase from $8.2 million in 2014 to $8.7 million in 2015. The report forecasts expenses will rise to $10 million in 2021.

Township Administrator John Zeitler said the report also forecasts tax revenue to increase by 1 percent a year from 2017 to 2021 as home values rise and more homes are built in the township. 

“We think there will be some growth out here. So the 1 percent was factored in after the 2016 property revaluation,” he said.

The township has had an uptick in single family homes. In 2010 Sylvania issued 29 housing permits. So far in 2014, the township has issued 52.

A 214-unit ranch style housing development marketed towards the 55-and-older community will be built on former cropland at 8739 Central Avenue in three phases over the next several years.

The township predicts a 5-percent increase in health and dental expenses in 2015. Total personnel costs are estimated at $6.8 million in 2015, which is an increase of about $400,000 increase from 2014. Those expenses include about $930,000 in health and dental costs. 

Mr. Zeitler said that aging fire department equipment, including uniforms, breathing apparatus equipment, and axes, will need to be replaced. It projected $76,000 in non-capital equipment for 2015, and that figures drops to $17,000 in 2016.

The township reported that from 2003 to 2013 there was an approximate 5.5 percent increase annually in emergency and fire responses. It estimates those type of responses will continue to increase at a rate of 2.2 percent annually through 2021.

“We were very conservative on those figures. We didn’t want to project calls that may not happen,” he said.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.