By JIM MAURER
Hancock County residents will have two countywide sales tax issues to decide in November: a 0.25 percent tax for flood reduction and a 0.25 percent tax for county capital improvements and general operations.
Wednesday was the deadline for submitting issues, and for nonpartisan candidates to file, for the Nov. 7 general election ballot.
The flood-reduction sales tax would be for 10 years. It will be listed on the ballot as being for general operations, because state law does not allow flood reduction to be listed as a reason for a tax increase. The commissioners will pass a resolution to designate the funds for continued flood-reduction efforts.
The capital improvement sales tax would be for 20 years and would fund jail expansion, upgrades to the existing jail, and construction of a new county office building. Revenue also would be used for general operations, such as staffing the jail expansion and offsetting reductions in state funding.
The 20-year time frame for the tax provides a long-term funding source for the jail expansion and other construction projects.
Each sales tax would be effective April 1. If both are approved, the commissioners would repeal an existing 0.50 percent sales tax that is slated to expire at year-end 2018. If only one sales tax is approved, only a portion of the existing sales tax would be repealed, to maintain the same income level.
The commissioners on Tuesday also imposed a 0.25 percent sales tax as a permanent tax for general county operations.
Other ballot issues filed by the Wednesday deadline included:
- AMF Bowling Centers, 616 Trenton Ave., known as Sportsman Lanes, is seeking permission for on-site Sunday sales of beer, wine, mixed drinks and liquor between 10 a.m. and midnight. Residents in Findlay Precinct 7-E will decide the issue.
- Brew U Sports Pub, 316 N. Main St., is seeking on-site Sunday sales of wine and liquor between 11 a.m. and midnight. Residents in Findlay Precinct 6-B will decide the issue.
- Appleseed Joint Ambulance District is seeking a 0.6-mill, five-year replacement levy for ambulance and emergency medical services.
- The Northwest Hancock Joint Fire District is seeking a 2-mill, five-year additional levy for fire protection.
- Mount Blanchard is seeking a 2-mill, five-year renewal levy for parks and recreational purposes.
- City of Fostoria is seeking an additional 6-mill, five-year levy for current expenses. The levy is part of a five-year recovery plan designed to get Fostoria out of fiscal emergency by 2021.
Officials have said the money received through the tax hike would be specifically earmarked for Fostoria’s safety forces.
Fostoria was placed in fiscal emergency by the office of State Auditor Dave Yost on May 25, 2016.
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