The presidential election won't be the only ballot draw for Grandview Heights voters in November.

The city plans to place a renewal of its four-year, 7.5-mill property-tax levy on the Nov. 3 ballot.

City Council will hold the first reading of a resolution to proceed with the levy at its July 6 meeting and plans to approve the resolution July 20.

Council unanimously approved a resolution of necessity June 15, and the city's finance department forwarded the resolution the next day to the Franklin County Auditor's Office for certification.

The operating levy's renewal would generate about $1.9 million annually.

The current levy provides about 17% of the city's 2020 general-fund revenue -- "so it's significant," said Megan Miller, the city's director of finance.

About 65% of the city's general-fund revenue is generated by income tax.

The effective rate of the levy would be 5.36 mills for residential properties and 6.64 mills for commercial and industrial properties, she said.

If the renewal is approved by voters, a residential-property owner would pay $164 annually per $100,000 of the appraised value of their home, MIller said.

The average market value of a home in Grandview, according to the county auditor's office, is $389,000, which means the owner of a home with that value would pay about $640 annually, once the 12.5% rollbacks paid by the state are included, she said.

The levy first was approved in 2012 and renewed by voters in March 2016.

"It's important that we keep this levy in place because it was (originally) passed before the rollback was eliminated in September 2013," Miller said.

The rollbacks (or reductions) were eliminated for new and replacement levies passed in November 2013 and beyond, but existing levies and renewals were not affected.

"The rollback is where the state pays a piece of the residential tax bill," Miller said, "so they pay 12.5% of the bill for residents. If we got rid of this levy and just approved a new levy, the taxpayers would have to pay more for us to get the same amount of money."

The four-year levy renewal voters approved in 2016 will expire at the end of this year, she said.

"The amount of money we have spent that we have taken out of the general fund and put toward street projects, sewer projects and park projects has averaged about $2.2 million a year each of the last four years," Miller said.

"The property tax didn't directly go to all those projects, but it went into the bigger pot that allowed us to do those different things," she said. "We've been able to do some additional projects that we would not have been able to do and to catch up on some delayed maintenance."

Going forward, it will be council's and the administration's decision on what the property-tax revenue would be used for if the renewal is approved by voters, Miller said.

The "declining revenue environment" caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the city deferring about $1.5 million worth of projects "that had been budgeted and that we wanted to do," Mayor Greta Kearns said.

The city's capital-improvements plan for the next several years assumes the nearly $2 million in revenue for the general fund generated by the levy will continue, she said.

If that money is lost, it will be difficult for the city to be able to keep up with those maintenance and infrastructure needs, Kearns said.

The levy renewal has nothing directly to do with and would not provide funds for a potential project to build a new municipal building and fire station, she said, but its failure still would impact the city's goal of building a new municipal complex.

"If we can't keep up with the other needs and our revenue keeps declining, like it could through COVID, we're never going to get there with the building," Kearns said.

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