Fairfield County residents living in Pickerington and Violet Township will find a number of issues seeking to raise revenue to maintain and expand public services when they go to the polls in November.

Fairfield County residents living in Pickerington and Violet Township will find a number of issues seeking to raise revenue to maintain and expand public services when they go to the polls in November.

The list includes three levies which, if approved by voters, are expected to cost a total of an additional $10 a year for each $100,000 of their home's market value, plus an income tax increase in the city of Pickerington.

Pickerington City Council is asking residents to approve doubling the city's income tax from 1 to 2 percent. If approved, it will be the first time the income tax has been increased since it was put in place in 1976.

Because the city is one of the few central Ohio communities that tax income at less than 2 percent, most residents will not see an increase in the amount they pay, Pickerington City Manager Tim Hansley said last week. City officials have estimated that about 85 percent of residents work outside the city and are already paying the higher tax rate.

Speaking at the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon, Hansley said the proposed increase is expected to generate an additional $3-million in annual revenue.

That money, he said, will be used to maintain and improve services that have been neglected in recent years.

About $300,000 will be used to maintain the current level of police service in the city. Hansley said the additional funds are needed to keep up with increases in labor, health care and gasoline costs. Another $800,000 will be set aside for street maintenance and improvements.

The city has not done any paving since 2006, Hansley said. Also, about $200,000 will be set aside for parks, recreation and stormwater projects, he said.

Finally, Hansley said, about $200,000 will be set aside in a reserve fund to be used as matching funds for state and federal grant programs. Recently, Hansley said, the city has had to turn down grants because matching funds were not available.

The balance of the new projected revenue, Hansley said, will be used to pay down the city's approximately $30-million in debt.

"Right now, our budget is so tight that we can't respond to things the way we ought to," Hansley said. "I'm trying to create some flexibility to save in the long run."

Fairfield County commissioners are asking residents to consider a five-year, 0.5-mill replacement levy to, among other things, continue to provide meals to senior citizens.

The senior services levy, which applies to all Fairfield County homeowners, would, if passed, replace a 0.5-mill levy that went into effect in 2004 and will last be collected in 2009.

In 2007, state reduction factors caused the levy to be collected at an effective rate of about 0.42-mills. As a result, Fairfield County residents paid $12.94 for each $100,000 of their home's market value, or $50 for each $100,000 in value assessed by the county for tax purposes.

In Fairfield County, property is assessed at about 35 percent of market value.

If the replacement levy is approved, residents will pay $15.32 for each $100,000 in market value, an increase of about $2.98.

The levy is expected to raise about $1.5-million a year, an increase of about $240,000 over 2007, if approved by voters.

The money will be used to support three programs operated by Meals on Wheels -- Older Adult Alternatives of Fairfield County Inc., including nutrition services for older adults, in-home services and repairs and a grant application review program conducted for the Fairfield County Commissioners.

As of July 31, the agency had delivered 48,211 meals to 486 Fairfield County residents and served another 573 clients a total of 26,154 meals at congregate meal sites. If the levy fails, agency officials have said they will be able to deliver only about 25,000 meals to 175 clients and feed an additional 130 people a total of 15,000 congregate meals.

Pickerington and Violet Township residents will be asked Nov. 4 to consider a five-year, 0.2-mill levy to support the Pickerington Senior Center.

If approved, the levy will cost homeowners about $7 for each $100,000 of their home's market value, or $20 for each $100,000 in value assessed by the county for tax purposes. It would raise about $185,000 a year.

The senior center's board of trustees is seeking the levy in order to expand programs, services and hours at the facility. It is the first time in more than a decade the organization has sought taxpayer support.

The center was founded in 1985 through a grant from the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging. In 1988, township residents passed a five-year, 0.5-mill levy to allow trustees to acquire ownership of the center.

Since then, the center has been generally self-supporting. A portion of its approximately $100,000 annual budget comes from two $10,000 annual grants received from the city and the township.

Membership fees generate another $12,000 a year, building rentals and fundraisers -- such as spaghetti dinners and pancake breakfasts -- make up the balance.

The center has about 750 active members from Pickerington, Violet Township and surrounding area. Last quarter, those members participated in 19,000 hours of center programming and in the winter months, that number grows to about 26,000 hours a quarter.

Also, Violet Township residents who live in Fairfield County but outside the Pickerington School District are being asked to consider a five-year, 0.5-mill renewal levy to support the Fairfield County District Library.

County residents living within the school district boundaries pay taxes to support, and are served by, the Pickerington Public Library. However, a portion of Violet Township is within the borders of Canal Winchester, which is served by the county library district.

State reduction factors caused the levy to be collected in 2007 at an effective rate of about 0.42-mills. It cost residents $12.91 for each $100,000 of their home's market value and raised about $830,000.

County officials said the renewal levy will not cost residents any more in the future because the effective rate will continue to decline at about the same rate as property values are expected to rise.

msegaloff@thisweeknews.com