When Issue 9 was unveiled I knew I needed to learn the details before I could decide if I was in-favor or opposed. The promise to eliminate a renewable property tax in exchange for a permanent income tax increase made me question what that meant for our long-term household income should Issue 9 become law.  Issue 9 is another permanent tax increase, where as the fire protection levy is a temporary property tax that has to be renewed every five years. On one hand we have seemingly legitimate city expenses that need to be funded, but on the other hand some of those sound like one-time major purchases being funded by a permanent tax levy.

It’s hard for me to say I am in favor of a levy without having a good grasp of how much it will cost and exactly what we’re being asked to support with the revenue it would generate.

As I started to do the math I realized that most people probably don’t even realize how much their “Fire Protection Levy” tax actually costs them each year let alone the income tax increase they might see from Issue 9.  On the flip side of the equation, I questioned how many people might actually not even realize that their taxes could stay exactly the same AND they could see a reduction in property tax.  Wouldn’t it be odd if those people voted no thinking their taxes would go up, or chose not to even vote May 8th?

Considering the fact that the Nordonia Hills communities as a whole will very likely be voting on a Nordonia Hills School levy in the fall, I wanted to have a better idea of the actual impact Issue 9 would have for me and a number of people I know in the community.  What started out as a simple fun website turned into a rather elaborate Macedonia City Income Tax Calculator.   What I wrote shows a resident’s current state of income tax liability and a side-by-side comparison to their tax liability “if Issue 9 passes” – based on input that will take most people less than 30 seconds to type in and click submit.

The web based form and all of the data submitted to it is completely confidential (it never asks for the name or address of the people using it).   While it will estimate the amount of property tax a resident will save, it also shows how the user can look up the actual property tax of their residence and determine the exact amount of Fire Protection Levy money that would be saved if either the city doesn’t attempt to renew that levy or it fails to be renewed on a future ballot.

If you’re curious how much you’ll save and how much your taxes might go up, check it out here and feel free to share it with your friends:   http://Garvas.org/taxes

Jeff Garvas