Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vote YES on Issue 18

Guest blog by Keith Moore, Council-at-Large
Issue 18 is a renewal of the City of Norwood’s general operating levy.
It is NOT an increase, just a renewal.
According to the Hamilton County Auditor’s Certificate, if the levy passes, it will bring in $1,333,390.00 per year. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 house $79.33 per year.
Currently, the levy costs the owner of a $100,000 house $79.33 per year.
So why does the city need this levy? Revenues are down – way down. Here are the General Fund revenue numbers for the last few years:

            2009:   $22 million
            2010:   $19.9 million
            2011:   $18.8 million
            2012:   $18 million (estimated)

A big part of the budget crunch this year comes from the State, which cut Local Government Funds and eliminated the Personal Property Tax and the Estate Tax.

The City’s employees have managed to squeeze every dime to keep us operating, including major contract concessions on wages and staffing levels that have saved millions of dollars. Of course, the City has also closed the smaller swimming pools and suspended the annual street repair program. We have made cuts across the board, but we have kept every department open and operating so far.

Things should be better in the years to come. The economy is slowly improving, and we can all see the new projects going up. There are more projects in the planning stages. But we won’t begin to see the budget impact from those new projects until late next year, and for most, in 2014 or later. And we have a lot of ground to make up to get back to where we should be.

Losing this levy would have a major impact on our ability to maintain the services we have now.

Please vote YES on Issue 18.