Most of the attention over the past 6 months or so has been focused on the presidential election. While it is significant, many times it is the local and state elected officials and property taxes that have a great impact on your business.
Over the next several weeks, members of the state legislature will be faced with a number of key issues, including unemployment compensation reform and energy policy. Shortly after the start of 2017, Governor John Kasich will introduce his final state operating budget, which is where much of the state’s tax policy is created. Rest assured that your Chamber is actively advocating on your behalf on these and other issues affecting your business.
There isn’t any change in our regional legislative delegation, at the state or federal level.
Senator Rob Portman won re-election and the Republicans maintain the majority in the United States Senate. Representatives Marcy Kaptur and Bob Latta also successfully defended their seats in Congress. The Republicans retain their majority in the United States House of Representatives.
District 2 State Senator Randy Gardner was the only member of the Ohio Senate on the ballot in the region and was re-elected. He is expected to become a member of the Senate leadership team. Republicans gained a seat (from southeast Ohio) and maintained their majority in the Senate, with 24 Republicans and 9 Democrats.
Every seat in the Ohio House of Representatives was on the ballot Tuesday. House Republicans increased their majority by a seat, with Republicans now holding 66 seats and the Democrats 33.
Ohio House 3 – After being appointed in August, Representative Theresa Gavarone was elected to a full two-year term in the Ohio House.
Ohio House 44 – Representative Mike Ashford was re-elected to another two-year term.
Ohio House 45 – Representative Teresa Fedor was re-elected to another two-year term.
Ohio House 46 – Representative Mike Sheehy was re-elected to another two-year term.
Ohio House 47 – After being appointed in August, Representative Derrek Merrin was elected to a full two-year term in the Ohio House.
Ohio House 81 – Representative Rob McColley was re-elected to another two-year term.
Changes did take place at the County Commissioner level. In Wood County, Eastwood Board of Education member Ted Bowlus defeated incumbent Democrat Commissioner Joel Kuhlman. Commissioner Craig LaHote was elected to a full four-year term after being appointed by defeating Walbridge Mayor Ed Kolanko.
Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wozniak was unopposed in her re-election bid. Commissioner Pete Gerken defeated former City of Toledo Mayor Mike Bell to retain his seat for another four years.
Fulton County Commissioner Bill Rufenecht was also unopposed. Republican Jon Rupp defeated York Township Trustee Jeff Mazurowski for the other Commissioner seat.
In addition to the candidates appearing on the ballot, a number of local tax and charter amendments were also on the ballot. To learn how these taxes will specifically impact your residence or business, use the Levy Estimator tool available on the Lucas County Auditor’s ARIES website.
Issue 2 – PASSED. Renewal of the three-quarter percent temporary income tax on residents and those working in the City of Toledo. Representing one-third of the income tax revenue collected by the City, services important to the business community will be maintained in order to assist in the positive momentum being created across the city.
Issue 3 – PASSED. Amends the City of Waterville charter to include a Community Bill of Rights. The amendment was developed to stop the proposed NEXUS pipeline, however these projects are regulated by state and federal law. A number of unintended consequences for the City of Waterville and its business community will exist as a result of the amendment.
Issue 18 – PASSED. TARTA sought renewal of its 1.5-mill, ten-year levy. This impacts property owners in its service district, which includes Toledo, Ottawa Hills, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Maumee, Waterville, and Rossford.
Residential cost - $45.71/$100,000 of valuation - no change
Commercial cost - $52.50/$100,000 of valuation – no change
Issue 19 – PASSED. 9-1-1/Emergency Services sought renewal of its .70-mill, five-year levy.
Residential cost - $21.11/$100,000 of valuation - no change
Commercial cost - $24.50/$100,000 of valuation – no change
Issue 20 – PASSED. Children Services sought renewal of its 1.40-mill, five-year levy plus an additional .40 mills.
Residential cost - $56.88/$100,000 of valuation - $14.00 increase
Commercial cost - $63.00/$100,000 of valuation – $14.00 increase
Issue 21 – PASSED. Imagination Station sought renewal of its .17-mill, five-year levy.
Residential cost - $5.13/$100,000 of valuation - no change
Commercial cost - $5.95/$100,000 of valuation – no change
Issue 22 – PASSED. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library sought renewal of its 2.90-mill, five-year levy plus an additional .80 mills.
Residential cost - $115.50/$100,000 of valuation - $28.00 increase
Commercial cost - $129.50/$100,000 of valuation – $28.00 increase
Issue 23 – PASSED. Zoo sought renewal of its existing five-year levy at a reduced rate of .75 mills.
Residential cost - $22.97/$100,000 of valuation - $2.66 decrease
Commercial cost - $26.25/$100,000 of valuation – $3.50 decrease
Beginning January 1, 2018 as a result of these levies, a homeowner will see an increase of $39.34 per $100,000 of property valuation and commercial property owners will see an increase of $38.50 per $100,000 of property valuation.
Several local school districts also sought new money for operations and capital improvements.
Issue 14 – PASSED. Anthony Wayne Schools sought a new 2.38-mill, $44M bond issue to finance construction, furnishing and equipping a new elementary school in Whitehouse.
Residential cost - $83.00/$100,000 of property valuation
Issue 17 – PASSED. Sylvania Schools sought a continuous 5.7-mill levy to pay for operating expenses and permanent improvements
Residential cost - $199.00/$100,000 of property valuation
As the Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, Brian oversees the Chamber’s advocacy and public policy efforts with local, state and Federal governments. With nearly 20 years of experience, he has held positions in state government in the offices of the Ohio Lt. Governor, Ohio Auditor of State and Ohio Treasurer of State. He also worked for the late U.S. Representative Paul Gillmor and in the Office of the Vice President of the United States.