Health Dept. asks tax renewal


SIDNEY — Shelby County voters will be asked on their November ballots to consider the renewal of a .2-mill levy that supports the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department.

Shelby County commissioners passed resolutions recognizing the need for the levy and approving the issue’s placement on the ballot during their meetings July 9 and July 14.

According to Health Commissioner Steve Tostrick, the 10-year tax was first approved by voters in 1996. It was renewed in 2006. If it passes this year, the tax will be levied on 2016 property assessments and collected beginning in 2017.

“It generates about $189,000 for the health department for a year,” Tostrick said. That represents about 7 to 8 percent of the department’s 2014 operating budget, the latest year for which figures are available. The total budget is about $2.5 million.

“The purpose is to provide and maintain health services to the people of Shelby County,” Tostrick said. “We have unfunded mandates of services we have to provide. This money helps out a lot with things like that.”

The Shelby County Board of Health initiated the renewal process in April by passing a resolution to ask the commissioners for approval to put the issue on this year’s ballot. As required by law, the commissioners first approved a resolution recognizing the need for a renewal.

“It is hereby found, determined and declared that the amount of taxes that may be raised within the 10-mill limitation will be insufficient to provide an adequate amount for the necessary requirements of the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department (Board of Health); and

It is necessary to levy a renewal tax in excess of the 10-mill limitation for the benefit of the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department, … for the purpose of current expenses of the subdivision, at a rate not exceeding two tenths (0.20) mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to two cents for each $100 of valuation for 10 years beginning with tax year 2016, first collected in calendar year 2017, if a majority of the electors voting thereon vote in favor thereof,” the resolution read, in part.

At their next meeting, which was Tuesday, they passed a resolution declaring their intent to put the issue to the people in the next general election, which will be Nov. 3.

“The board has been efficient with the budget, spending funds appropriately,” Tostrick said. “We appreciate the support of the community to serve our friends and neighbors.” He noted that because the tax is a renewal, what Shelby County residents currently pay to support the health department will not change if the measure is passed by voters.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.