Piqua voters to consider street levy renewal

PIQUA — Piqua voters will be considering the renewal of the city’s 0.25 percent income tax for street infrastructure for another 10 years during the March 17 primary election.

In December, the Piqua City Commission approved sending this levy, which has been in place since 1991, to voters for a renewal. The 0.25 percent portion of the city’s income tax generates approximately $1.3 million per year for streets.

“We resurfaced over 117 lane miles in the last 10 years, and we wouldn’t be able to come anywhere close to that without that,” Mayor Kris Lee said. A lane mile is 12 feet wide, so wider streets would take up more space. The city has been able to do the resurfacing of those 117 lane miles for a total cost of approximately $6.7 million over the last 10 years.

The city has been able to use these funds to complete the following street projects: the East Ash Street reconstruction, the Wayne Street streetscape, the County Road 25-A phase 2 and phase 3 reconstructions, the College Street signal project, the Fountain Park bridge rehabilitation project, the Safe Routes to School project, the North Main Street streetscape project, the Commercial Street connector project, the Garbry-Looney roundabout project, and the East Ash Street separated bike lane project.

“We use the levy to get other grants to help with other projects and costs,” Lee said. “Without the passage, the street reconstruction and the street resurfacing programs would both cease to exist.”

The city utilizes these funds to leverage grant money for street infrastructure projects, providing the local match for various grant opportunities. Since 2010, the city has been able to secure over $14 million in grant funding to match this approximate $13 million the city has bee collecting.

Residents with an earned income of $30,000 a year will pay an additional $75 per year or $1.44 per week. Income tax is not collected on income from Social Security, pensions, unemployment benefits, military pay, public assistance, or alimony received. Interest, dividends, and capital gains are not taxed as part of this income tax. According to a fact sheet provided by the city of Piqua, over 70 percent of people working in the city of Piqua do not live in the city and come from outside communities. These are the individuals who would be paying most of the street fund levy.

Without the street levy, the city would only be able to do routine maintenance, like pothole patching, with little to no resurfacing.

“I really hope people will vote for it,” Lee said.

CORRECTION:

This story has been corrected to note the resurfacing of 117 lane miles has occurred over the last 10 years. Mayor Kris Lee was incorrectly quoted as saying the resurfacing occurred over the last year. The Miami Valley Today regrets this error.

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Levy has been in place for 30 years

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Sunday News

The difference between the city’s street funds:

The city of Piqua’s Street Levy Fund (103) are funds derived from the 0.25 percent portion of the overall city 2 percent income tax dedicated to be used solely for the construction, reconstruction, and resurfacing of roadways within the city of Piqua. The renewal is for a 10-year period and was last renewed on January 1, 2011.

The city’s Street Maintenance Fund (101) is supported by the general fund income tax, with other street monies coming from gasoline tax and license plate tax. The activities supported by this fund include personnel, operations and maintenance, and capital equipment purchases, including street patching and alley paving. Without the Street Levy Fund (103), the Street Maintenance Fund would provide minimum paving ability.

Information was provided by the city of Piqua.

Reach the writer at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2020 Miami Valley Sunday News, all rights reserved.