Miami County is transferring more sales tax revenue to a fund for building projects
The sales tax brought in $18.7 million to the county in 2019, $20.5 million in 2020, and $22.9 million in 2021.
The cast change was approved after options were explored to set aside more money for capital improvement projects.
“Commissioners felt that due to our aging buildings and more recent directives to move some services to other areas of our facilities, it was important to fund the capital fund more aggressively,” said said Commission Chairman Ted Mercer. “We have always funded the capital fund, we just made the decision to direct more funds to this particular fund.”
Among construction projects already underway is a new one-stop center to house motor vehicle-related agencies, including county auto title, BMV and state patrol vehicle inspection operations. . The commissioners also plan to move the county development department to the building which will be located off Ohio 55 west of Interstate 75 in Troy. The current one-stop shop is located in rented space on Experiment Farm Road, also in Troy.
An agricultural center is also in the works at the county fairgrounds. This would house the County Agricultural Society (Fair Board) as well as the Ohio State University Extension Offices now located in the Hobart Center for County Government and other agriculture-related agencies.
A comprehensive five-year capital improvement plan will be developed following a meeting with staff and county administrator Charlotte Colley later this month. The goal is to “better map our needs going forward with facilities, physical facilities and other major capital improvement projects,” Mercer said.
The county also receives more than $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, in 2021 and 2022. These funds are not for new facilities but for improvement projects such as HVAC upgrades and water and sewer projects, Mercer said. The county has already committed a portion of the APRA funds to updating the first floor HVAC of the 1880s county courthouse.
The sales tax cut was discussed at the Jan. 26 meeting of the communications center’s board of directors, whose members included police, fire and emergency services as well as government officials from across the count.
Jeff Busch, director of the center, said the central rate was 14% and would bring in about $2.57 million this year, up from $3.48 million last year at 19%. The center had a balance of $3.3 million at the end of the year, according to its report.
Colley and commissioner Greg Simmons, who sits on the central board, assured the board that the distribution would be reviewed later this year to see if any adjustments are needed.
“We reduced the revenue from that fund, but we told Jeff that if anything happened … we would be more than happy to restore some, or all of that,” Simmons said. However, at that time the commissioners believed that the carry-over for the center was too high and that there were many capital projects that needed attention in the county.
“It’s not set in stone. If something comes up, we’ll be at the table,” Simmons said.
Contact this contributing writer at [email protected]