City discusses 2024 property tax levy expiration


XENIA — City Council recently discussed its property tax levy expiration during a recent meeting.

The city’s existing 3.5 mill operating levy is due to expire the end of 2024. The general purpose levy has been in place since 1959 — the original millage was 5 mills (decreased to 3.5 effective in 1974).

The levy’s effective rate has been frozen since 1976 (as property sales increased, revenues had not), and generates $470,000 a year. According to city records, when considering the cost of governmental services in the city, the per capita burden was the lowest in the region when considering property taxes, fees, and income taxes.

The 3.5 mill operating levy revenue could be used for any general fund purpose, but the majority was used to support public safety even though the current revenue did not come close to the amount needed to fully support those needs (more than $5 million).

“Council has until November to put something on the March ballot, for renewal or replacement,” said Jared Holloway, assistant city manager. “No decision has been made yet.”

Levy options were presented by Brent Merriman, city manager, for council to consider:

— A renewal would extend the current applicable rate/value for an additional term (five years) for the same purpose.

— A replacement would replace an existing levy so that the effective rate of the levy would revert back to the voted rate resulting in increased taxes and additional revenue for the same purpose for a specified term.

— A new (additional) would add a new tax measure at identified millage for either a general purpose or specific service/need and specifies the term or if it would be for a continuing period of time. During the discussion, Ryan Duke, city finance director, commented they could not afford to lose $470,000 every year. He noted that the 3.2 of inside millage was used to general operations and police and fire pension.

Duke noted that 2023 property values were already increased by 28 percent and would be paid in 2024.

Will Urschel, council president, explained that every six years, the county auditor was required to reappraise every property in the county and then in year three of the appraisal cycle, he was required to do a triennial update based solely on home sales for the preceding three years.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

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