The May 2 primary election is a big one in Reynoldsburg, where voters will decide whether to support a city income tax increase and choose which candidates will advance to the November election for a race to fill three at-large seats on City Council.
City income tax
The proposed tax increase, called Issue 11 on the Franklin County ballot, Issue 2 on the Fairfield County ballot and "city of Reynoldsburg increase" in Licking County, would raise the city income tax from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.
City Auditor Richard Harris said if it is approved by voters, the tax issue would generate an additional $6.5 million per year in revenue.
City officials are hoping the promise of using some of the funds to build a new community center will convince residents to approve it. The venture would be a partnership with YMCA of Central Ohio, which would operate the city-owned facility and pay for staffing, programming and maintenance. Plans include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an indoor track for walking and running and a full gymnasium.
Harris said the tax issue also would generate money to be used for road repairs and other infrastructure improvements in Reynoldsburg.
Harris said someone who lives and works in Reynoldsburg would see a $100 increase per $10,000 in income. However, he said, about two-thirds of the revenue from the tax increase is expected to come from people who live in Reynoldsburg but work elsewhere.
“The problem with these generalizations is it doesn’t consider where people work and the credit they get on what they already pay,” he said. “Someone who lives in Reynoldsburg and works in Columbus is already paying 2.5 percent so they would see no increase.”
The tax increase also would not affect anyone who is retired or unemployed.
Four Republicans and five Democratic candidates are on the ballot in their respective party primaries May 2. According to the Franklin County Board of Elections, the three top vote-getters in each will advance to November's general election, when voters will decide who will fill three at-large seats on council.
The Republican candidates are incumbents Barth Cotner and Chris Long; Aaron DeLong and Charlie Myers. Incumbent Dan Skinner, whose term will expire at the end of December, decided not to seek re-election.
The five Democrats in that party's primary are former council member Cornelius McGrady III and newcomers Stacie Baker, Kristin Bryant, Kelly Cruse and John Stearns.
Franklin County voters will decide the fate of Issue 1, a five-year Senior Options levy that includes renewal of a 1.3-mill property-tax levy and an increase of 0.45 mill.
If it is approved, it is expected to generate $46.6 million annually, starting in 2018.
The added millage would cost the owner of a house valued at $100,000 an extra $15.75 a year, bringing the total annual collection to $55.45, according to Antonia M. Carroll, director of the Franklin County Office on Aging.
Money from the levy would pay for the 10,000 seniors who currently receive services and the additional 0.45 mill would allow the agency to subsidize an estimated 3 percent growth per year through the duration of the levy, Carroll said.
Reynoldsburg residents who live in Licking County will see two issues on the May 2 ballot.
An additional 1-mill, five-year levy to support 911 services would cost an additional $35 per $100,000 of home valuation and would generate nearly $4 million per year.
A five-year, 0.25-mill levy would raise $973,930 annually for parks, trails and recreational purposes for the Licking Park District.
It would cost $8 per $100,000 of property valuation, the same as it does now.
ThisWeek reporter Gary Seman Jr.contributed to this story.