In addition to its next mayor and village council representatives, village of Ashley residents will decide on the renewal of a tax levy that supplements the village’s General Fund on Election Day.
The ballot language for the levy states it is “a renewal of a tax for the benefit of the village of Ashley for the purpose of current expenses that the county auditor estimates will collect $78,000 annually, at a rate not exceeding 6 mills for each $1 of taxable value, which amounts to $167 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value, for five years, commencing in 2023, first due in calendar year 2024.”
“It’s not an overwhelming amount, but everything we can get in is a plus for the village,” Mayor Jim Nelson told The Gazette.
Nelson said the levy is renewable every six years, and while he doesn’t recall the first time the levy appeared on the ballot, it’s been a source of income for the village since he took over as mayor in 2008. If it were to fail, Nelson said it would mean the village would have to start making cuts wherever it could find them.
“Everything counts as we go forward,” he said. “For example, we have a gentleman who is going to be retiring from the Street Maintenance Department, and we’re in the process of interviewing people. They come in and say they have to have $25 an hour with some benefits. Now, the only benefit we have now is we pay for the individual’s insurance. We do not have a family plan because the cost of insurance is very high.
“And then we got a notice yesterday from our insurance carrier that health insurance is going up 18%. You can see where these funds are going to be directed. It’s a never-ending battle to make sure we have funds to operate on.”
Nelson said despite seeing the last two police levies fail when he thought they would pass, he remains hopeful the village residents will continue to support the operating levy considering it’s a tax for which residents have already accounted.
“A lot of it comes from the wording of how the levy is put on, which clearly states it’s a renewal rather than an increase,” he said of his source of hope. “If we put on there some kind of an increase, I would say our chances of passing it would be 50-50 at best.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.