Harveysburg levy rejected for March ballot because of date errors

The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office advised the county Board of Elections not to certify a tax issue filed by the Harveysburg Village Council for the March 19 primary election ballot due to incorrect dates in the language.

The village filed the tax request on Dec. 19, the day before the Dec. 20 filing deadline.

“The resolutions request a levy for 2023. This is an impossibility, and a mistake to a mandatory element of both resolutions,” according to a prosecutor’s office email obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

The email said the lawyer for Harveysburg, Chase Kirby, was told the date could not be changed. .

In an email sent Dec. 12, Deputy County Auditor Austin Dawson informed Harveysburg Fiscal Officer Mary Wilkie that the Resolution of Necessity referenced the 2023 tax year and 2024 calendar year.

“All references to the 2024 calendar year should instead be for the 2025 calendar year. We need that language changed and a new resolution sent to us for our records. I do not believe this will hold up filing a Resolution to Proceed with the Board of Elections. Just be sure you reference the correct years on that one,” Dawson advised.

Kirby said council ran out of time and could not schedule another meeting before the deadline. He said council is planning to place the levy proposal on the November general election ballot.

Wilkie could not be reached for comment on Friday.

According to unofficial minutes of the Board of Elections, the petitions to place the tax question on the March ballot were rejected by a 4-0.

The next time the village could place a tax issue on the ballot will be in the November general election. However, while the village won’t be able to rely on a tax levy to operate, council did approve a 3% entertainment admissions tax on Nov. 13.

Former Council President Mark Tipton said previously the tax could generate an additional $150,000 to $180,000 a year for the village mostly from visitors to the Ohio Renaissance Festival.

Village officials had planned to place a new five-year, 2.5-mill operating levy on the March ballot that would have generated $41,710 a year, according to the Warren County Auditor’s Office. It would have cost a property owner about $88 per $100,000 of property valuation.

In November, a renewal and increase for operating and police services was rejected by voters, along with a proposal to surrender the village’s corporate powers.

Newly elected Harveysburg Mayor Jonathan Funk said the village will use its reserves until it can pass an operating levy.

“We should have done this sooner after the election,” Funk said. “The show must go on. We may have to make some tough decisions but there are always options.”

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