Inside Millage Information
Vote No on Issue 24
All of Us Working Together
Fair and Equitable Labor relations
For decades, the City Administration and Employees have worked to provide high quality services to the community through a cooperative relationship. Administration and our Safety Forces have worked together to provide equitable contracts and wages.
The Community’s growth has resulted in a need for expanded services
We are continuously monitoring the needs of the community and have experienced an increase in calls for both Public Safety forces and Municipal Services. Our population is aging and we are seeing an increase in weather events, acts of nature and other calls for service. In the Fire Department alone the calls for service has increased 26% over the last 10 years.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has created new and costly protocols for the City and Safety Forces to keep both our residents and staff safe.
Workforce and equipment
We set high standards for our Police and Fire department personnel. We guarantee they are educated and professional employees providing for the highest level of service to the community. We are constantly evaluating staffing to meet the needs of increased calls for service from our residents. We strive to maintain modern, effective, and an efficient fleet for Police, Fire and EMS staff.
Inside Millage Information
Additional Revenue is needed
To keep our high level of Police and Fire services the Twinsburg Community needs additional revenue that is stable and reliable. Over the last 5 years, Safety Force total operating expenses have increased 19%. In July 2020 Council approved 2.4 mills of inside millage that will bring our total inside millage to 3.0 mills to support our Police and Fire Departments. The approved millage will NOT go into the General Fund (Fund Account 100) and will be distributed as follows:
1.0 Mills – Police Pension, Fund Account 291
1.0 Mills – Fire Pension, Fund Account 290
1.0 Mills – Capital Safety Force, Fund Account 820
What is Inside Millage and do other communities depend on inside millage?
We know it can be confusing, but simply put every municipality has the right to authorize up to ten mills of inside millage to provide revenue for safety forces, debt service or other general fund operations. (Provided by Section 2 of Article XII of the Ohio Constitution and codified in Ohio RC 5705.02) In many communities in Ohio, the full ten mills of inside millage is levied annually and shared between the political subdivisions overlapping every parcel of real estate.
In Summit County, Twinsburg ranks 30th out of 30 communities when it comes to authorized inside millage. In our performance audit (linked below) the cities that Twinsburg was compared with all had some level of inside millage ranging from 3.0 mills to 11 mills to support their general fund operations.
Twinsburg’s Charter limits inside millage
Twinsburg’s Charter currently limits Council’s authority to 7 mills of inside millage. Some municipalities have Charters that authorizes millage in addition to a City’s statutory 10 mills, which is the way the State Auditor interpreted Twinsburg’s Charter millage. Twinsburg’s Charter is “vague” as it relates to whether it limits the statutory millage or authorizes additional Charter millage. For that reason, our law department believes that it would be ruled as a limitation if challenged.
Has the City ever used inside millage?
Prior to 1996, the City authorized up to 5.7 mills of inside millage on an annual basis as part of its tax budget. This inside millage was used to provide revenue to the general fund. In 1996, the City campaigned with the schools to pass a levy to build the high school and the city removed all of its authorized “general fund” inside millage. The tradeoff was an increase in income tax that provided more revenue due to the thousands of manufacturing jobs at the Chrysler plant.
More about Issue 24
What is Issue 24?
A ballot initiative organized by a group of residents to change the City of Twinsburg Charter and further limit Council’s ability to authorize inside millage. It would reduce our current 7 mills down to 2 mills. Below is the official Ballot language.
TWINSBURG – Proposed Charter Amendment (By Petition) - Shall Section 6.01 of the Charter of the City of Twinsburg be amended to place a further restriction on the 10-Mill limitation set forth in Section 2, Article XII of the Ohio Constitution by limiting City Council’s ability to generate revenue for all purposes of the municipality from the current 7 mills to 2 mills?
What does a NO VOTE mean?
A NO vote on Issue 24 means that our current Charter language, which has existed for 48 years, will be preserved. A NO vote will also confirm the authorized millage for 2021 that has been approved to properly fund our Police and Fire Pensions and Safety Force Capital. The impact to residents will be $6.29 per month per $100,000 of home value.
How will Issue 24 impact Police and Fire?
If Issue 24 passes, the 2.4 mills that have been authorized by Council for 2021 to provide funding for the Fire Pension account, Police Pension account and Safety Force Capital, would be eliminated. The reduction to 2 mills would not provide enough available millage to properly fund these accounts. Ohio statute would require the City to maintain 0.6 of a mill for Safety Force pensions, but the remaining 1.4 mills would be preserved to maintain the City’s financial viability and bond rating.
Are there other negative impacts of Issue 24 on the City?
Yes, the City’s financial strength is based on a number of factors when a financial institution is considering funding our projects. Available inside millage is one of the more important factors. The City’s Bond Advisor provided the following response when he heard about Issue 24:
“So the reduction in the Charter millage is clearly a credit Negative and weakens the City's overall financial profile. The rating agencies would consider the unused but available millage a measure of future financial flexibility. The elimination of that financial flexibility and revenue raising ability is a material weakness.”
If Issue 24 passes it will negatively impact our credit worthiness and bond rating.
Please Vote NO on Issue 24 and help set the groundwork for a stable future!