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Local governments seek $36 million in levies

Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 5:37 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 5:37 PM

Local government levies on May ballot
Income tax Rate Duration Purpose Annual revenue
West Carrollton 0.25 pct 5 years general 600,000
Beavercreek 1.5 pct 7 years general 10.2 million
Local government levies on May ballot
Property tax Millage Per 100,000 valuation
Miami Twp. 3.5 5 years fire 2 million 107.19
Miami Twp. 5.25 5 years police 3 million 160.78
Waynesville 7 5 years police 364,600 214.38
Waynesville 1 5 years streets 52,100 30.62
Oakwood 3.75 5 years general 1.1 million 114.84
Clearcreek Twp. 4.5 continuing fire 4.4 million 137.81
Frank Twp.-Carlisle JEMS 2.61 continuing ambulance 710,000 710,000 80
Washington Twp., Mont Cty 4.65 5 years fire 7.3 million 142.41
Washington Twp., Mont Cty 0.7 5 years rec center 1.1 million 21.44
Harrison Twp. 13 continuing police police-EMS 3.5 million 398.13
Harrison Twp. 4 5 years police 1.1 million 122.5
Fletcher 1.5 continuing road,bridge 7,905 45.94
Washington Twp., Miami Cty 2 5 years fire 83,929 61.25
Source: auditor, election, local government officials

Ten Miami Valley communities will ask local voters for more than $36 million in taxes this year, mirroring initiatives across the state aimed at raising revenues for local governments.

Elected leaders in West Carrollton and Beavercreek will seek income tax levies in May, while their counterparts in Oakwood, Waynesville and Miami, Washington, Harrison and Clearcreek townships and the Franklin Twp.-Carlisle ambulance service will ask for millage through taxes on local property owners.

The moves follow large cuts in Local Government Funds dispersed by the state and elimination of estate tax revenues since the election of Gov. John Kasich.

In response to the cuts, local communities have turned to taxpayers to maintain or increase funding of services, or found ways to make due with less through cuts or shared services.

“It is going on across the state,” said Kent Scarrett, communications director for the Ohio Municipal League. “It certainly has made people think outside the box, look at more efficiencies.”

Kasich’s new two-year budget proposal does not appear to contain the major cuts to local cities and townships that his first budget did. The new budget proposal would increase Local Government Fund money by roughly 4 percent annually according to state officials, not nearly offsetting the 25 percent cuts in the previous budget.

Local governments have forged regional agreements, cut jobs and privatized services. Before making additional cuts or rolling back the credit to residents working in other cities, taxpayers are being asked to continue existing levies or pay higher income or property taxes to help fund the services.

In November, Riverside voters — already subject to a 50-percent reduction in the credit on income taxes paid where they work — are expected to be asked to approve a 0.5 percent income tax increase.

“Every citizen cannot pay today’s bills on income they made 10 years ago. City government is no different,” Riverside City Manager Bryan Chodkowski said. “We’re out of options. It’s never enjoyable when the government has to make people begin to make lifestyle choices.”

The added tax burdens will be particularly difficult for taxpayers in communities like Riverside, where the median household income is $38,774, about $2,500 lower than in West Carrollton, $41,312, according to the U.S. Census.

Riverside resident Rebecca Weaver, who works in Dayton, said she doesn’t believe residents will be able to absorb the tax increases.

“There aren’t enough people in Riverside working right now,” she said. “The ones that are are unfortunately not working in Riverside. If there were more opportunities to work in the city of Riverside, it might help the chances of people affording the taxes.”

In comparison, median household income in the other Miami Valley communities facing tax levy votes range from $95,061 in Oakwood to $73,357 in Beavercreek to $48,750 in Waynesville. The townships weren’t listed.

In justifying the moves for more local funds, leaders pointed to the cuts in state funding and hits to city coffers taken when companies downsize or leave town.

“It’s a trickle effect right down the line,” West Carrollton Mayor Jeff Sanner said. “The citizens of West Carrollton are used to a certain standard of service. We can’t provide it without an additional income tax.”

The cities are seeking additional taxes, while spending general revenues on economic development and repaying long-term debts owed on capital improvements, including those designed to attract businesses.

In West Carrollton, the city has cut out fireworks displays, privatized custodial services and reduced health benefits, part of cuts that have reduced more than $500,000 in expenses, officials said.

To support economic development, the city spent $50,000 last year improving roads within the corridor leading from the $26.4 million redesign of Exit 47 into the Miami Bend entertainment district. Local leaders are weighing whether to take on bond debt for construction of an arena-event center anchoring the district, as well as projects developing the adjoining riverfront as a whitewater attraction.

The city will ask voters May 7 to raise the local income tax from 2 percent to 2 ¼ percent.

“In no way is that ¼ percent income tax increase going to be used for economic development,” Sanner said. West Carrollton plans to use the new income taxes collected to help pay for basic services, like police and fire, as well as other general expenses, Sanner said.

Riverside projects $1.15 million per year in revenue would be generated if voters approve the income tax rate increase from 1.5 to 2 percent.

The city also is considering implementing a city-wide storm water utility fee, a tax that would cost the average homeowner $33 a year and generate at least $300,000 annually.

City officials point to cuts in state funding – “the state treats communities like a baby treats a diaper,” Mayor Bill Flaute said – and the fact that Riverside doesn’t collect a street levy tax as key components moving forward.

Harshman and Burkhardt roads are scheduled for construction this year, totaling $5 million in cost. City officials have said that improving the appearance of the city will play a major role in attracting businesses to Riverside.

City Council agreed to earmark the revenue generated by the income tax credit reduction ($700,000) to capital expenses.

“It needs to be known that this is what we’re planning to do with it,” Councilman Mike Denning said. “If you tell them what you’re going to do with it, then they give you money and you do what you told them, next time they will trust you a little more.”

In other communities:

• Beavercreek’s seven-year, 1.5 percent income tax proposal - the first in the city’s history - would replace other existing levies, and raise an estimated $10.2 million a year for general expenses. So far the city hasn’t discussed rolling back the credit to residents paying income tax to another municipality.

• Oakwood is considering the reduction in credit for income taxes paid by residents working in other cities, in addition to the five-year, 3.75 mill property tax levy, expected to raise an additional $1.1 million a year.

• Waynesville is placing two five-year property tax renewal levies on the May ballot: 7 mills for police, 1 mill for street repairs. So far the village, which recently enacted a 1 percent income tax, has no plans to roll back credit to residents for income taxes paid to other cities where they work. “We’ve been following the Riverside articles,” Village Manager Pat Higgins said.

• While weighing how to fund trash services since rejection of a proposed property tax levy in November, Miami Twp. will ask voters in May to back a five year, 5.25 mill property tax levy for police services despite rejection of a police levy in November.

The trustees also decided to ask voters for a five-year, 3.5 mill levy for fire service. The fire levy would help fund a district formed last year by the township and Miamisburg.

• In Harrison Twp., local ballots will include a new 5-year, 4 mill levy for police, expected to raise just under $1.1 million and cost another 122.50 for every $100,000 of property valuation, and a continuing 13 mill levy continuing funding of police and ambulance service that raises just under $3.5 million a year and costs $398.13 for every $100,000 of evaluation.

• In Washington Twp., voters will see two 5-year levies. A 0.70 mill levy would continue just under $1.1 million in annual funding for the recreation center and cost property owners $21.44 for every $100,000 in value. A 4.65 mill replacement levy would cost $142.41 for every $100,000 in evaluation raise almost $7.3 million a year for fire protection.

• In Clearcreek Twp., voters will be asked for an additional continuing 4.5 mill levy for fire and ambulance service.

Staff writers Ken McCall, Jill Kelley, Terry Morris, Ed Richter and Contributing Writer Nancy Bowman contributed to this report.

Multiple mobile homes damaged by downed trees in Clark County

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 8:53 AM

MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

At least four mobile homes at McMahan’s Fairway Terrace Mobile Home Park were damaged when trees fell on them during Wednesday night storms.

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Some of the trees that fell were uprooted and others snapped off, according to our reporters at the location of Lower Valley Pike.

We’ve not heard any reports of anyone being injured.

Beyond ‘cops on the dots’: How Dayton police are using data to battle crime hot spots

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 8:02 AM

The Dayton Police Department plans to use a new investigative strategy that focuses on “micro areas” of violent crime to not only bring criminals to justice also to disrupt their networks and eliminate or clean up places where criminals hang out, meet, shop, live and make preparations to engage in illegal activity. 

Where police resources are deployed is based on crime rates and trends, but deeper analysis is needed to truly understand how to craft the most effective police response, said Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl. 

“The most frequent strategy or tactic in law enforcement is called ‘hot spot policing,’ or it’s called cops on the dots,” he said. “Where the data aggregates — the dots appear with greater density — that’s where you deploy police officers.”

But, Biehl said, police also need to engage those areas and interact with the community to achieve meaningful and sustained reductions in crime, he said. 

The Dayton Police Department is about to try a new strategy to cool off the tiny crime hot spots by taking away the places criminals hang out, live, gather and meet to support their illegal activities. 

MORE ON DAYTON CRIME
» Police to target ‘micro areas’ of violent crime
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» Complete coverage: Crime headlines in the Dayton area

Last month, Biehl discussed research that found that about 39 percent of shootings, 14 percent of robberies and 17 percent of firearms offenses in Dayton last year occurred in very small parts of the city, referred to as high-crime micro areas. 

Put together, those tiny hot spots represent less than 0.7 square miles of space. 

Taking a page out of Cincinnati’s playbook, the police department plans to try to reduce gun violence and criminal activity at some of the city’s worst hot spots high-crime “micro areas” through a data-driven, place-based investigative strategy.

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The hot spots were identified using multiple years of crime data and multiple data sets and layers of analysis, police officials said. 

“You were looking for any clusters, they (the researchers) were looking for the top 1 percent of clusters,” Biehl said.

Muslims in America, by the numbers

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 8:35 AM

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In fact, if current trends continue, Muslims will surpass Christians as the world’s largest religious group in the second half of this century, according to the Pew Research Center.

As of 2010, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making up the majority of the population in 49 countries.

» RELATED: 5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting 

And only 0.2 percent of the global Muslim population reportedly lived in North America.

In the U.S., the latest Pew numbers from 2015 show the country is home to an estimated 3.3 million Muslims of all ages — about 1 percent of the total U.S. population.

>> Read more trending news 

But by 2050, Pew researchers estimate Islam will supplant Judaism as the second-most popular religion in the U.S. with Muslims ultimately making up 2.1 percent of the future population.

Why is the group growing so fast?

According to researchers, it’s primarily about simple demographics.

» RELATED: Mahershala Ali makes history as first Muslim to win an Academy Award 

Muslim women on average have more children than women of the seven other major religious groups analyzed in Pew’s global landscape study.

Between 2010 and 2015, 31 percent of all babies born around the world were born to Muslims.

Muslims also have the youngest average age of all the major religious groups, Pew researches noted. In 2015, the median age of Muslims around the globe was 24 whereas the median age of non-Muslims was 32.

Those factors coupled together have led to the population projections in the second half of this century.

» RELATED: 5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay 

How many Muslim immigrants have come to the U.S.?

Between 1992 and 2012, approximately 1.7 million Muslims entered the U.S. as legal permanent residents, jumping from about 50,000 in 1992 to 100,000 in 2012, Pew research found.

The data shows most Muslims that immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1990s came from countries in Asia and the Pacific or Middle East/North Africa.

By 2012, most Muslim immigrants to the U.S. came from Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and Iraq.

» RELATED: Photos of famous Muslim Americans 

Where do Muslims in America live?

The state-by-state map above shows the percentage of adult populations identifying as Muslims, according to Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study.

Of all adult populations in the 50 states and District of Columbia, New Jersey reported the highest percentage of Muslim residents at 3 percent.

Data for the report came from telephone interviews with more than 35,000 Americans from all 50 states.

More information about Muslims in America at Pew Research Center.

Tornado damage cleanup underway

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:55 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:45 AM

UPDATE @ 8:07 a.m.

Clark County authorities have announced a 10 a.m. press conference to provide an update on tornado damage in Park Layne.

We will bring that information to you live as it is released.

UPDATE @ 6:43 a.m. 

Peggy Aten, a Park Layne resident and a Community Markets employee, said she had not been inside the store yet, but the roof was laying in the parking lot.

On Wednesday night, she was on her porch when she saw a big flash of light. 

“I just watched that whole big black cloud roll,” she said. “It was unreal.” 

Aten said was surprised no one was hurt. 

“It’s been a long time since we had a storm like that,” she said.

UPDATE @ 5:35 a.m. 

Deputies in Clark County said the sheriff’s department is expected to hold a press conference Thursday to update damage reports throughout the county. 

A time and location were not immediately available. 

EARLIER REPORT

There is heavy damage from Wednesday night’s tornadoes and severe weather in several locations in Miami, Greene and Clark counties.

VIDEO: Funnel cloud over Fairborn  | Clark. co. sheriff gives update on damage

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The National Weather Service is working to confirm the number, strength and exact locations of tornado touchdowns in the Miami Valley Wednesday evening.

>>PHOTOS: Storm damageStorms clouds roll in

A Sunoco gas station on state Route 235, in the 2100 block of South Dayton-Lakeview Road in Park Layne, has been destroyed and other businesses in that area have been damaged.

RELATED: National Weather Service spotters looking to confirm tornadoes in 3 counties

The Churchill Manor apartment complex, located behind the Sunoco station, has been partially evacuated due to storm damage. Firefighters said occupants of two of the three buildings in the complex will be displaced. One building is missing its roof, while the second roof was leaking.

Victory Motors has been damaged. The side of the store has been blown off. A Family Dollar store and a McDonald’s have been damaged as well.

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We will update this report as warranted.