Montz urges voters to pass income tax levy

PHOTO BY JIMMY FLINT Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz discusses a 0.25-percent income tax levy at 2017 Candidates Night Wednesday at Tiffin Middle School.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz made a pitch for voters to approve a 0.25-percent income tax levy during 2017 Candidates Night at Tiffin Middle School Wednesday.

Montz said the city administration took the idea to council this year because of a need to catch up on road and bridge maintenance and council agreed to put the levy on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Montz said the city spends about $400,000 annually on street resurfacing, but he and personnel from the city engineer’s office believe it is not enough.

He said Ohio Department of Transportation guidelines state roads have a useful life cycle of 12-15 years before they begin to deteriorate and damage vehicles.

According to information from the engineer’s office, Bucyrus repaves roads every 12.04 years, Mansfield does once every 12.41 years, Findlay does once every 21.11 years, Upper Sandusky does once every 24.36 years and Norwalk does once every 29 years.

Montz said Tiffin’s roads are repaved on average, once every 40.15 years.

He said Mansfield and Bucyrus keep up because voters approved a 0.25-percent income tax increase.

Montz said the Tiffin administration believes the

new tax would generate about $1.5 million, with all of it earmarked for street and bridge repairs.

He said he hopes voters “strongly consider” the new tax, adding it would increase the safety of roads and have a positive economic impact.

“Businesses look at the condition of roads to gauge general health and vitality of a community,” Montz said.

If the levy passes, Montz said it would cost 25 cents for every $100 earned.

Montz said the increase would be in effect for five years before voters could choose to renew it.

He also said the funding would help pay for the looming repair of the Ella Street Bridge, which could cost as much as $6 million.

“We are asking voters to consider this,” Montz said. “For the cost of a pizza from Little Caesars or a Happy Meal from McDonalds, it could do all this for the community. It could improve the safety of streets and bridges. We could really use your support.”