SIDNEY — The city of Sidney’s permanent 1.5 percent income tax is its primary revenue source supporting services including police, fire, emergency medical, parks and community recreation.
“This portion of Sidney’s income tax generated $16.7 million in 2016, an 8.8 percent increase over 2015,” said Ginger Adams, finance officer. “Of this total, taxes withheld from employees generated $11.8 million in 2016, an 8.1 percent increase over 2015.”
Her report continues:
Most of this increase was due to our larger employers changing from monthly to semi-monthly remittance, as required by recent state legislation. Excluding this one-time “bump,” the growth in withholding collections was nearly 3.1 percent, indicating a steady increase in taxable wages. Taxes collected based on business net profits remain elevated ending 2016 at $4.9 million, a 10.4 percent increase over 2015. Taxes based on net profits are a volatile source subject to significant swings from year to year.
Sidney’s additional 0.25 percent income tax, dedicated to the repair of Sidney’s streets, alleys, bridges, curbs and gutters, generated $2.8 million in 2016, of which $2.7 million was spent repairing Sidney’s roadways. Over the five-year levy, this tax should generate at least $13.5 million.
Sidney’s 2017 capital budget includes approximately $4.0 million dedicated to street resurfacing and reconstruction with $3.5 million of this paid for with street tax levy. Slated for 2017 is the next round of Ohio EPA-required sewer system improvements, as well as the design of many grant-funded road and bridge projects, including state Route 47 guardrail replacement and Park Street Bridge over CSX railroad replacement. North-end Fire Station funding began with $845,000 committed during 2016. No doubt planning and design will continue in 2017.
Sidney’s 2017 operating budget reflects guarded optimism. The 2017 operating budget of $28.2 million represents a 0.7 percent increase from 2016. As we recover from the last national recession and loss of state-shared revenues, the city strives to improve service levels negatively impacted when the city reduced staffing by over 37 full-time equivalent positions. Sidney’s 2017 budget includes adding back two police officers working peak demand split shifts, an equipment operator to assist with Graceland Cemetery and park projects, and targeted seasonal positions to ease Municipal Court workload, paint water hydrants and provide for increased Shelby Public Transit ridership. These 2017 reinstatements follow last year’s return of seasonal staffing to pre-recession levels, reinstatement of two firefighters designated to work during peak demand periods, and adding a Water Treatment Plant Operator. After these additions, city staffing remains at 90 percent of pre-recession levels.
Utility fee increases are in the 1 percent to 3 percent range. The average family of four should notice roughly a 2.9 percent increase in their utility bill, with the low volume user experiencing approximately a 2.8 percent increase.
You may opt to receive your Sidney utility bill electronically. You have immediate, 24/7 secure access to your billing information with a 13-month history at your fingertips and its environmentally friendly. To switch, visit www.sidneyoh.com/Utility-Billing and click on the “Receive your Utility Bill by email” link. Create your account using information from your most recent utility statement.
The city is dedicated to providing responsible financial management of its public resources. View Sidney’s 2017 budget, audited annual financials, and monthly financials at http://sidneycityoh.minutesondemand.com/. Open the “City Financial Information” box on the page’s lower-left corner.
Your 2016 Sidney income tax return (or extension) is due no later than April 18, 2017. Forms are available at the city’s website (www.sidneyoh.com – News & Events page) or City Hall office at 201 West Poplar open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 8th, to assist you with Sidney return preparation at no charge. (An exemption form is available for retired/disabled residents having no Sidney taxable income.)