Questions & Answers

How Will the Revenue Be Used? 
Based on current income tax calculations, the projected revenue is estimated to be $2.5 million.

Per Section 4 of Ordinance No. 10-27 (PDF), "the proceeds from 0.25% of the total increase of 0.5% of the income tax rate will be used solely for the purpose of maintaining current police and fire services levels." Specifically, $750,000 would be used to bring back the 12 laid off positions (6 firefighters and 6 police officers) and $500,000 would be used for the Public Safety Division's purchase of rolling fleet (i.e., fire trucks, medic units, police cars, etc., as well as other capital purchases such as equipment replacement) and/or existing debt service payments for equipment already purchased. The remaining one-quarter (1/4) of the one-half (1/2) percent increase will be used for the following (per minutes of January 7, 2010):
    • Street Rehabilitation Program: $500,000 (Xenia's streets are in very poor condition. Some streets have been improved with grant dollars, but the majority of our streets do not qualify for grant funding. Currently, only $150,000 is budgeted for street rehabilitation. This funding would be used in addition to the $150,000, for a total of $650,000 each year, to begin the street rehabilitation process.)
    • Other General Capital Improvements: $750,000 (Fleet Maintenance, City Facilities, Information Technology, Parks, etc., fall under this category). The city's fleet, Public Service vehicles including snow equipment - other than Police and Fire vehicles - fall under this category; maintenance and improvements to City Facilities, City Hall, Public Service Center, etc., fall under this category; Information Technology (computers, hardware and software, servers, etc.); and parks need playground equipment. All departments, including the Police Division, Fire Division, Communications Center (911), Public Service Center, Water and Wastewater Treatment, Finance Office, etc., depend on computers and their various programs for their day-to-day processes. View more details on critical capital improvements needs (PDF).
What is the "Rainy Day" Fund, a "Cash Reserve"?
The "Rainy Day" fund is a cash reserve to be used in the event of an emergency including catastrophic disasters and other natural disasters. The reserve also allows the city to withstand short-term revenue declines when revenues are expected to quickly return to normal levels. It also provides the city the opportunity to receive a good bond rating (currently it is designated at A-1), which means when we have to purchase a $900,000 Fire Truck and we have to finance it, we will receive a lower interest rate. Learn more about municipal bond ratings.

What About "Enterprise Funds" Generated From the Payment of Utility Bills? Why Can't We Use That Money to Pay For Police and Fire Personnel?
It is illegal to use revenue from enterprise funds (Water, Sewer, Sanitation, Stormwater Revenue) that is generated from the payment of utility bills for any other purpose other than items directly related to water, sewer, sanitation, and stormwater, such as salaries for persons working in those areas, operating expenses, capital improvements, etc.

You Currently Have a Positive Cash Flow in 2010 (Revenues Exceeding Expenditures). Why Do You Need Extra Revenue?
The city is not permitted to operate at a deficit like the federal government. Revenue shortfalls must be offset by cutting expenditures. Since many of our operating expenses (electricity, fuel purchases, etc.,) are fixed, the cuts usually come by way of a reduction in force or more conservative spending habits and budget cuts. The city has exercised both. Please review the following current cash flow projections and expenses scenarios (numbers in red represent negatives):
Facts & Figures
  • View Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) from 2009 to 1983. All CAFRs are audited by certified accounting firms and accepted by the Auditor of State.
  • If you would like a copy of this year's or next year's proposed budget, please contact the Finance Division at 376-7235.
  • The city has not received a voted income tax increase since 1991.
  • The city receives approximately 9% of the property taxes paid by City of Xenia residents, which includes both voted (outside millage) and non-voted (inside millage). Learn more about your property taxes and how they are disbursed. Once there, conduct a search for your property by typing in your name, address, or parcel I.D. number. The results will appear on the left side of your screen; click on the link for your property. To see the property tax payments and disbursements, click on "Additional Property Information" and then click on the "Tax Dispersal" tab. You will see the Xenia City Tax rate is based on 1976 Levy Year calculations and the voted millage was 3.5 but the taxable voted millage is only 0.859915*. As an example, a home valued at $315,000 paid only $83.01 on voted property taxes to the City in 2009; a home valued at $112,920 paid only $29.74 on voted property taxes to the City in 2009; a business valued at $158,170 paid only $93.44 on voted property taxes to the City in 2009; and a business valued at $12,086,480 paid only $7,140.17 on voted property taxes to the City in 2009.
  • The 3.5 mill operating that has been in place since 1959 generates approximately $400,000 per year (*effectively now less than 1 mill). Due to a state law (House Bill 920) passed in 1976, the assessed value used to determine the amount paid was frozen unless a replacement levy was passed. This 3.5 mill operating levy has only been renewed since it was initially passed in 1959. Therefore, it is generating revenue based on your property's assessed value in the 1970s. Learn more about HB 920 and how your property taxes are levied. (Courtesy of Lucas County, Ohio.)
What Happens if Both Issues 9 & 10 Pass?
If Issue 9 is approved, the city would rehire 6 police officer positions and 6 firefighter positions and reopen Fire Station 2. Additionally, the city would have funding available ($500,000 annually) for street improvements and other general capital improvements (view information on these infrastructure investments (PDF)).

If Issue 10 is approved as well as Issue 9, the city would be mandated to hire 3 more firefighters for a total of 9. This would require the city to look at options like reducing the funding for street improvements, infrastructure investments, or look for additional funding for the added cost of the 3 firefighter positions. Passage of Issue 10 would also significantly impact the city’s ability to consider potential cost-effective solutions to public safety services for the community. It does this by mandating full-time police and fire positions, staffing levels, and designating the unions as the sole provider of safety services in the community. The city strongly opposes Issue 10 for these reasons and that no funding source was included in Issue 10. The costs imposed by Issue 10 have to be covered by a separate ballot issue, Issue 9, or the city risks bankruptcy by 2013. The failure by the political action committee of the police and fire unions to include a funding source in Issue 10 creates an easily identifiable financial issue for the city (Issue 9 fails, Issue 10 passes) but it also creates potential financial issues long into the future.

What is the Purpose of Issue 11 to Allow Part-time Employees & Volunteers to be Considered as Part of Any Police & Fire Minimum Manning Requirement?
Issue 11 was placed on the ballot to both supplement Issue 9, the 0.50% income tax levy, and to provide an alternative to Issue 10, the minimum manning requirement. If Issue 11 is approved, it will give the city the ability to consider part-time employees and/or volunteers in providing cost-effective safety services to the community. Passage of Issue 11 could reduce overtime costs as well as supplement our existing full-time personnel.

The Citizens Approved a Levy in 1991 to Hire an Additional 12 Firefighters and 7 Police Officers. Why Did the City Lay Off Police and Fire Positions in 2003 and in 2010?
Allegations have been made by the political action committee of the police and fire unions that the city management has not lived up to the levy request and approval in 1991. In fact, 12 firefighters and 7 police officers were hired after the levy was approved and a 3rd medic was placed into service. The staffing level reductions in 2003, 2009, and 2010 are a result of the revenue streams no longer being able to support the current staffing level (view spreadsheet (PDF)). The staffing reductions followed the failure of tax levies in 2003, 2009, and in 2010.

There were other significant across-the-board cuts in 2003 and significant cuts in other departments of the city in 2009. The police and fire staffing level reductions were not made in 2009 with all the other departmental cuts due to wage concessions agreed to between management and the unions. Although the dollar savings from the wage concessions was much lower than that of the potential police and fire layoffs, city management felt it was important to have the public safety services available until the community was able to decide on the level of service it wanted. The levy failed by 90 votes on May 4 and the city commenced with the layoff process.  

Why Not Just Do Separate Levies For Police % Fire (0.25%) and (0.25%) For Streets & Other Capital Improvements? 
Funding for all these areas is needed. The survey done by Wright State University last year of our residents illustrated to city management that a comprehensive approach to the city’s needs was and is the proper approach.

A 0.25% levy approved in either area simply does not address the long-term needs of the city (view spreadsheet (PDF)).