LAFAYETTE TWP. — County Administrator Scott Miller is campaigning for the passage of the county’s 0.2 percent sales tax increase that will be on the May 8 ballot.
“The amazing thing is that this is the first tax since 1971 that has been levied by the commissioners for the purpose of the general fund,” he said Thursday at the Medina County Economic Development Corp. meeting at the Medina County University Center.
That increase 46 years ago was a 0.5 percent increase for general operations.
The tax increase will benefit criminal justice services, which include sheriff, courts, prosecutor and public defender. It would generate about $5.3 million.
If successful, it would free up money in the county’s general fund for other purposes, such as capital improvements, maintenance of county buildings, increased funding for the growing senior population, children’s services and the Medina County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board.
If it doesn’t pass, the county likely would try again in the November election, Miller said.
He said if all attempts have failed by 2019, an increase in property taxes would be sought for the Office for Older Adults, Medina County Children’s Services and the ADAMH Board.
“(Those departments) are struggling,” Miller said.
Children’s Services and the ADAMH Board have been affected by the opioid epidemic, he said.
For now, though, the county will concentrate on trying to get the sales tax passed.
The county will host a sales tax webinar 1-2 p.m. Thursday about the issue.
Miller will discuss the tax issue and answer questions during a question-and-answer session during the conference call. To join in on the video conferencing and/or screen sharing, click https://join.freeconferencecall.com/376-764-959 or enter online meeting ID on desktop app: 376-764-95.
Medina County’s sales tax is currently 6.75 percent.
Miller said the county has some big expenses on the horizon. It is mandated to purchase new voting machines in 2019 at a cost of $1.1 million. Also, the Medina County Jail needs roof repairs at a cost of about $1 million.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.