Twinsburg property tax issue will not be on fall ballot

Petitions filed too late to have 4.9-mill levy before voters this November

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Kent Weeklies

TWINSBURG -- City voters will not be voting on a 4.9-mill property tax levy at the Nov. 3 election. 

While more than 1,000 signatures on a petition to challenge the tax increase were certified earlier this week, the petitions for the referendum ultimately wound up being submitted to the Summit County Board of Elections after the deadline for referendum petitions. 

Sue Clark, who chaired the effort to place the referendum on this fall's ballot, along with a charter amendment which will appear on the ballot, said that the petitions were turned over to the Summit County Board of Elections on Aug. 11.

However, referendums to overturn ordinances have an earlier deadline, in this case Aug. 5, than referendums regarding charter issues, due to Ohio Revised Code.

Mayor Ted Yates said the filing deadline for referendums to overturn ordinances is different due to budget planning. Municipalities in Summit County, Yates said, usually set their budgets by the end of July. 

"We need to know what revenue we have coming in," Yates said.

While officials at the Summit County Board of Elections were not available to comment Friday, Yates said that once the issue is certified, it could go on the fall 2021 election.

He added that the city "still had procedural questions to ask the Summit County Board of Elections" regarding the referendum. 

"There was nothing underhanded done by city council," Yates said. "The timing of the tax budgets is consistent with all Summit County municipalities."

A proposed charter amendment to lower the millage that council can impose without voter approval from 7 mills to 2 mills is still expected to be on the Nov. 3 ballot. However, it is unclear how passage of the charter amendment would affect the 4.9 mill tax increase.

The 4.9-mill tax levy at issue was authorized by Twinsburg City Council July 14 under its charter authority to levy up to 7 mills of property tax without voter approval.

Clark said that petitioners collected 1,065 signatures per issue, exceeding the 830 valid signatures required.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com