BATH TOWNSHIP — The Bath Township Board of Trustees has taken the next step toward placing a five-year, 7-mill fire levy renewal on the ballot in November.
Township trustees unanimously passed a resolution during the April 17 meeting to proceed with the taxing authority and submit the levy proposal to the Greene County Board of Elections. The township trustees passed a resolution of necessity on April 3, asking the Greene County Auditor’s Office to certify the current tax valuation of Bath Township.
Township Fiscal Officer Elaine Brown said the township had received the certification from the county auditor’s office verifying that the five-year, 7-mill levy renewal would generate an estimated tax revenue of $634,000 per year, commencing with the 2020-tax year with payment first due in 2021.
“The county auditor, like me, is conservative with his estimate. We have to consider that we will have some delinquencies,” Brown said. “The total tax valuation of the subdivision used in calculating the estimated property tax revenue is $94,016,410.”
According to Brown, the existing, five-year levy, which expires on Dec 31, generates $655,000 annually in tax dollars for fire protection and emergency medical services to township residents and businesses. If approved, the renewal levy would not raise taxes.
Township Trustee John Martin also pointed out that the passage of the levy renewal would allow the township to keep the existing levy on the books, and preserve certain rollback tax payments from the State of Ohio.
“The state has to contribute to the renewal. Once the levy becomes a new (replacement) levy, the township relinquishes that funding, and township residents’ taxes increase,” Martin said.
In November 2018, township trustees voted unanimously against renewing a five-year contract agreement with the City of Fairborn for fire protection and emergency medical services to Bath Township after the city proposed an increase in annual rates from 2019 through 2023. According to the terms of the five-year contract proposal, Bath Township would pay the City of Fairborn $1,089,000 annually, a 58 percent increase, for fire and EMS coverage for 2019. The annual fee would then increase to $1.2 million for 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. The city later submitted a one-year contract proposal for $1,089,000, beginning Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019, which township trustees also rejected
In 2018, the township paid out $689,000 in annual fees for fire protection and emergency medical services, which included $655,000 in tax dollars generated from the current 7-mill fire levy and $34,000 from the township’s dwindling fire fund.
“We had to look at other options to assure that all township residents have the best fire and EMS coverage in 2019 and in years to come,” Township Trustee Steve Ross said. “We have to be good stewards of township taxpayers’ dollars too.”
Since Jan.1, Beavercreek and Miami Townships Fire Departments in Greene County and Bethel Township Fire Department in Clark County provide fire and EMS coverage to township residents and businesses. Ross noted that the current levied tax covers the total cost of the three annual contract agreements with the three neighboring townships.
Motor vehicle user’s fee increase
Ross reported that he had obtained detailed information from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission regarding the motor vehicle user’s fee increase. Ross said the fee would be increasing 10.5 cents per gallon in addition to the current 28-cents-per-gallon gas tax, beginning July 1. Diesel tax will increase 19 cents per gallon, starting July 1, which will allow the state to collect additional tax dollars from truckers who use state and interstate highways daily.
According to state officials, the gas and diesel tax increases are expected to raise $865 million annually in additional revenue for road maintenance and construction, which will be split 55/45 between state and local government. Currently, the township is receiving $90,475 annually, and those revenues will increase to an estimated $147,205, according to Ross.
“That’s an estimated increase of $56,730 in fiscal year 2020. In fiscal year 2021, revenue will increase to $57,218,” said Ross. “That money will help us with road repairs and maintenance, and that’s a good thing.”
The Bath Township Board of Trustees meet in regular session at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the township office, located at 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road. The board also meets on the fifth Wednesday when one falls in a month. The public is welcome.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.