SILVERCREEK TOWNSHIP — Voters in Silvercreek Township are being asked to approve a levy that will create additional operating money for the township.
If passed, Issue 7 will generate $81,000 annually. A 1-mill, 5-year levy, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $35 per year. The township has an active current expense levy, first passed in the early 1970, Fiscal Officer Melissa Smith said. But it generates approximately $14,000 annually and Smith said cuts in the estate tax that began in 2014 necessitated the request for more money.
“This put a huge deficit in our general fund,” she said. “We’ve not been able to make any repairs for our buildings, we’ve had increases in our property insurance and liability insurance premiums and health insurance premiums and all that came out of the general fund usually. Because we’ve had such a deficit in our general fund we had to start using our road fund and our cemetery fund to cover some of these expenses … that we don’t have enough money for.”
In 2013 the township received $157,000 in estate tax revenue and none in 2014 or 2015. At the end of 2015, Silvercreek had just $52,000 in carry-over balance with annual expenditures of around $180,000. The balance was the lowest in more than 20 years, Smith said.
“That sounds like a lot of money, but with our expenditures … it just depleted our fund,” she said, adding that a typical carry over is at least $100,000.
Passage will enable the township to move expenditures back to the general fund and make needed repairs to buildings. None were made in 2015 other than the fire house, and that came from the fire fund, Smith said.
“If it doesn’t pass, we won’t be able to make any building improvements except emergency ones,” Smith said.
It could also hinder township’s ability to participate in road resurfacing projects because of the need to use road funds for general fund issues where applicable.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.