Pounds: Chamber insightWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Free Press is in the process of setting meetings with the organizers behind the seven levies that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Endorsements will follow those discussions, but for voters understandably weary (and wary) of media interpretation, an excellent guide comes from the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber diligently meets with representatives for each levy hopeful and goes through a two-step voting process to determine which levies it will endorse. Chamber President Mark V’Soske is clear that the Chamber does not come out against levies. It endorses its choices but does not actively oppose others.
The Chamber chose to support:
- Toledo Public Schools (TPS) is asking taxpayers to approve a new 6.9-mill continuing levy, which according to the Chamber of Commerce will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $211.28 per year. The money from the levy would fund the district’s current transformation program and balance the budget beyond the 2012-13 school year.
- The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County has placed a 10-year, 1-mill levy on the ballot. The board’s last levy renewal was passed in 2008, so this levy would generate new money for the agency. This levy would cost $30.62 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
- Lucas County Children Services will be represented on November’s ballot with a 1.85-mill levy. This is a 0.85 increase from the current five-year levy, which will expire in December 2013. The 1.85-mill levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $56.66 per year, an increase of $26.04 on the current $30.62 per year paid to the 1-mill levy, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
- Imagination Station will ask voters to renew its 0.17-mill levy, which is set to expire at the end of 2013. The levy would generate about $1.3 million of the organization’s $3.2 million revenue by costing owners of a $100,000 home $5.21 a year.
The Chamber did not support (but again, that does not mean it opposes):
- Parks and Recreation is a new 1-mill levy, which would require renewal in 10 years. Owners of a $100,000 home would pay $30.62 per year if the levy passes, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
- Metroparks of Toledo Area will place a 0.9-mill levy before voters. The levy would replace the 0.3-mill levy that expires at the end of its 10-year term on Dec. 31. If passed, the 0.9-mill levy will require renewal in 10 years.
- The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library is placing a 2.9-mill levy on the ballot that if passed will replace and increase their 2-mill levy, which is due to expire at the end of this year. The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $88.80 per year for five years, according to a newsletter on the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce’s website, toledochamber.com.
There is plenty of time for education and information; let’s hope voters look beyond media and do some investigating on their own.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.
Tags: EPIC Toledo, Imagination Station, League of Women Voters, levies, Lucas County Children Services, Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, Metroparks of Toledo Area, Parks and Recreation, Publisher's Statement, Toledo Public Schools, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Tom Pounds, Voter's Guide