Council OKs two tax sharing agreements with Sidney schools

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council Monday night authorized the city manager to enter into two income tax sharing agreements with the Sidney City Board of Education, to compensate for foregone property taxes, which relates to Perfection Bakeries’ and Freshway Foods’ tax abatements.

Council was also introduced to two ordinances for the special assessments of the construction and replacement of curbs and gutters and to assess property owners the cost of weed mowing, junk removal, and acted on several other matters.

Finance Officer Ginger Adams said the two resolutions regarding the income tax sharing agreements with Sidney City Schools are exactly the same with the exception of the tax abatement percentage amounts of each business. On Aug. 28, council authorized the tax abatements for Freshway Foods and Perfection Bakeries, also known as Aunt Millie’s, to encourage growth in Sidney. The abatement amounts are based on construction and job creation/retention.

The tax sharing agreement, related to Freshway Foods, grants a 10-year, 75 percent abatement in accordance with Sidney’s enterprise zone (EZ) policy.

The tax sharing agreement, related to Perfection Bakeries, grants a 10-year, 51 percent abatement in accordance with Sidney’s EZ policy.

According to the policy, income tax sharing is required when an EZ abatement in excess of 50 percent is granted. The proposed income tax sharing agreement would compensate the school annually the lesser of either: property taxes foregone by the school as a result of the EZ abatement, or 75 percent of the permanent 1.50 percent income tax received by the city on the new jobs at the subject property.

In other business, Sidney’s Engineering Manager Randy Magoto said the city made the necessary repairs to certain curbs and gutters for property owners who did not complete the work on their own during 2017. A notice of assessments was published in the paper for three weeks, and city staff didn’t receive any objections to assessment amounts, Magoto said. Bills will be sent out two weeks after adoption of the ordinance. Property owners will then have 60 days to pay the bill or have it placed on their property taxes over a five year period.

As with the curb and gutter work, each property owner that was not in compliance with the city code regarding weeds or junk removal, Adams said, was notified of the violations and was given time to complete the work. When the owners failed to comply, the city paid to have the work performed. The property owners were then invoiced for the cost of the work plus the applicable fee. For weed-mowing violations, the fee is $75 for the first weed cutting, $150 for the second cutting, and $250 for each cutting thereafter. For junk removal violations, the fee is 20 percent of the cost.

This special assessment will be collected with other property tax obligations. A total of 53 properties would be assessed a total of $23,843 for weed cutting and another 53 properties would be assessed a total of $1,1148.40 for junk removal.

Both ordinances will return to council for future consideration at the Sept. 25 meeting.

Council also passed three other resolutions; two related to Shelby Public Transit. The first one authorizes the city to submit an application to the Ohio Department of Transportation for 2018 funding from the Rural Transit Operating and Capital grant programs. The second one authorizes the city to execute a contract with ODOT for Elderly and Disabled Transit Fare Assistance.

Concerning the Rural Transit Operating and Capital grant programs, ODOT has approved a federal operating grant of $331,000 and a state operating grant $99,000. In capital spending, the total grant is $160,053. This is for vehicle maintenance and replacement of two buses and other equipment.

The Elderly and Disabled Transit Fare Assistance Program reimburses the city for half of the $2.50 general public rate for non-contract trips provided to passengers over the age of 65 and those with a disability who have certifications on file in transit office. ODOT will award Shelby Public Transit $29,329 to offset the reduced fare to 23,463 elderly and disabled passengers.

Mayor Mike Barhorst asked Transit Manager Ron Schalow if the amount received was satisfactory and if it was enough money to do what is needed.

Schalow said, he was happy with the increased grant amount, which was about $1,200 over the current year amount.

The final resolution passed was to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission, authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the County Auditor. This accepts the County Budget Commission’s estimate of the city’s share of the property tax levy inside the 10-mill limitation. The Ohio Revised Code requires that City Council annually accept these amounts as estimated revenue for the ensuing year’s budget, authorize the necessary tax levies, and certify them to the County Auditor. For 2018, the operating mills are 3.2 and the operating amount is $1,145,876.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.