An estimated $293,985 boost in gas taxes means Trenton officials will be asking for fewer property taxes from residents in November.
Last month the city council approved a resolution of necessity to ask voters for up to 6-mills in a temporary, five-year levy in the fall. Public Works Director Rob Leichman said he hasn’t had money in his budget for repaving in four years and the streets need about $5 million worth of work, or $1 million per year.
The 10.5 cent gas tax hike passed by the legislature is expected to bring collections up to $686,123 so Finance Director Mike Engel said he believes the city can reduce the millage significantly.
“We think it could be 4.5 mills, maybe less,” Engel said. “We’re running numbers still.”
He estimated 4.5 mills will bring in $780,000.
Until the city officially notifies the Butler County Auditor’s office the final millage request cost estimates to taxpayers won’t be available.
Leichman said about 40 percent of the roads “are in need of immediate attention.”
“We have not had any funding to pave roads in the last four years, zero, zilch,” he said. “And it’s not a one for one, the deal with roads is you try to catch them before they fail. You want to catch them in a mediocre range if you will.”
The city has done a road survey, and 5 percent are in poor condition with major work needed, and about 34 percent need to be milled and resurfaced. The rest need to be maintained so they don’t deteriorate.
“You don’t want to wait until they fail so the repair of them is much less expensive, rather than a total gut and replacement,” Leichman said. “Every municipality and jurisdiction fights the same thing, we’re all fighting Mother Nature here, and none of us are going to win the battle.”
Trenton last asked residents for a tax increase in March 2016 when the 5.25-mill police levy passed.
The city of Hamilton recently decided to delay asking voters for street funds until March 2020. The amount of the state fuel tax increase may impact the amount that city asks its residents to approve.
According to estimates from the Ohio Department of Transportation Hamilton will get $1.2 million more in gas taxes, bringing the total to $3.1 million. Gas taxes are calculated in part by the number of registered vehicles and road miles in a given jurisdiction.
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