AURORA – The city expects to receive $16.74 million in local taxes in 2021, with $14.76 million expected to come from municipal income tax.
Those are some of the numbers laid out in the city’s annual tax budget, which was introduced at council’s May 26 meeting. A public hearing on the tax budget is slated for 7 p.m. June 22, and the budget must be adopted by July 14 to comply with the Ohio Revised Code.
Despite some people being out of work during the coronavirus pandemic, Clymer reported 2020 income tax collections are running $355,986 higher than for the same period in 2019. "Fund balances remain in a healthy position, with $28.9 million unencumbered in all funds and $10.2 million unencumbered in the general fund," he said.
According to Finance Director Tim Clymer, the annual tax budget is not an operating proposal, but a tool used by the Portage County Budget Commission to determine the amount of funding a local government receives from property taxes and local government funding.
The 2021 numbers are estimates taken from the five-year forecast, and are not intended to represent actual budgetary proposals from the city’s administration.
In addition to the $14.76 million in income tax revenue, the city expects to receive $1.57 million in general property tax and $410,000 from other local taxes.
The tax budget estimates $18.48 million in total general fund revenue and $18.21 in expenditures during 2021, with an unencumbered balance heading into 2022 of $9.18 million, while the unencumbered balance in all funds is expected to be $13.2 million.
The amounts that local tax levies are expected to generate in 2021 are: parkland acquisition, $384,856; roads and bridges, $554,782; police protection, $118,021; fire protection, $170,475; and fire/paramedic, $950,454.
Council renewed the city’s current policy with HCC/U.S. Specialty Insurance Co. for property and casualty insurance from June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021 through Edward Sutton Insurance Agency. The premium will remain at $133,786.
A contract was awarded to Software Solutions ($20,153) for software support and maintenance from June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021, and a master lease agreement with Huntington Public Capital Corp. was approved for acquisition of service department vehicles.
Easements were accepted from Gregory and Gail Newman Molloy, Walden at Tinker’s Creek and James and Anne Ramsay to allow the city to maintain sanitary or storm sewers.
Council OK’d the architectural design portfolio for townhomes in Pulte Group’s mixed-use subdivision between Squires, North Aurora and Treat roads; created a local coronavirus relief fund to receive and expend money according to Ohio law; and approved changes in compensation for several parks and rec/field crew employees.
Law Director Dean DePiero told council a class action lawsuit related to opioid prescriptions filed in Portage County Common Pleas court on behalf of Portage County, Aurora, Streetsboro and Ravenna was removed to federal court and consolidated with a similar case involving Cleveland, Cuyahoga and Summit counties and Summit political subdivisions. Trial is scheduled to begin later this year.
Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said Aurora’s resident response rate to the 2020 U.S. Census was 77% as of May 26. She urged residents who have not yet filled out census information to do so at www.2020census.gov.
The mayor noted all senior activities have been canceled through June, while the annual fishing derby, Go Skateboarding Day and summer concerts also have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. "We are working with the Aurora Baseball League and other organizations to develop a workable plan for baseball and softball games at city fields," she said.
The mayor reported the East Pioneer culvert project is expected to wind up in a couple of weeks. The road is closed just west of Page Road. The Hartman Athletic Complex, Aurora Cemetery, Chatham Drive and North/South Park paving projects are complete, and the service department will do road repairs citywide in June.
The new North Aurora-Treat roads traffic lights were scheduled to be activated June 2, hydrant flushing was slated to begin June 1 and the walkways at both entrances of Town Hall are being replaced.
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