Roads and bridges levy is not a trivial pursuit

I have had the good fortune to wear many different hats in my 30-plus years in the city of Tiffin. I am a husband, father, son, educator and part-time trivia host, amongst other duties. Oct. 16th, I took my first oath of office to serve as one of three at-large representatives for Tiffin City Council. Since then, I have learned that no decision is ever made without careful consideration for the effect such decisions will have on the entire community.

City Council serves as the representative voice of our citizens. Your input and your questions are so very valuable as we make what we believe to be the best decisions for the city. Interacting with our voters and taxpayers has been the most rewarding aspect of my time on council. There are so many wonderful folks who live, own businesses and earn their wages in our great city. Working together, with your suggestions, and sometimes with your tough questions, we can continue to make decisions to maximize our city’s potential and make Tiffin a better place for our families, friends, neighbors and guests.

We are able to put these decisions into action (in other words, pay for it), thanks in large part to the taxes on earned income of all the great people who live and work in Tiffin. May 8, we are asking our citizens to decide if this levy is worth an additional investment of twenty-five cents for every $100 of their hard-earned wages for the next five years. The city council alone cannot enact this tax. It must be approved or denied by the will of our friends and neighbors.

There are folks out there in our city who may fundamentally disagree with income tax, and there are others who need every possible cent to support themselves and their families. We all must do what we believe to be the right thing, and there are always multiple factors to consider. Frankly, I have no business telling you how to vote. I only ask that you consider the following factors when making your decision.

We are asking for an increase in an earned income tax for a variety of reasons, perhaps the most significant being that Tiffin has lost between $1.3 million and $1.5 million annually since 2011 due to changes in state funding. Moreover, we are not permitted to ask for a gas tax, sin tax or excise tax, while property taxes traditionally are reserved for the schools.

This additional tax is only on earned income. Pensions and Social Security will not be affected by this increase. We did this to lessen the burden on our friends and neighbors with a fixed income. For those earning income in the city of Tiffin, it will cost only one quarter for every $100 earned. Personally, this tax will add a little over $5 to my city taxes every two weeks. This is an investment that I am more than happy to make, as I cannot think of better place to spend this money than right here in our great city.

With your investment, we will be able to allocate an additional $1.3 million to $1.5 million annually for the maintenance, repair and construction of our roads and bridges. We cannot spend a penny of the funds collected with this tax for salaries or other such expenses.

As an added benefit to our citizens and guests, the passage of this levy will allow us to use the $400,000 that now is set aside in our budget to improve our roads and bridges to fund other capital improvements. This means nearly half a million dollars can be allocated toward safety

services (police, fire, EMS) and improvements toward our 13 beautiful parks each

year. Best of all, 100 percent of your investment will stay right here in the city of Tiffin. Because we are asking for you to invest this additional portion of your earned income, you had better believe we will be transparent as to how this money will be spent.

With your additional investment, I believe this levy will help to enhance the comfort, safety, security, health and happiness of our friends, neighbors and guests in the city of Tiffin. I humbly ask that you consider joining me in voting “yes” for the roads and bridges levy May 8.