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Senior Services funding among Lucas Co. Levy Ballot Issues

By La Prensa Staff


Issue 8: A levy to provide vital funding for continued senior citizen services is the only county-wide tax issue on the Lucas County November general election ballot. The current property tax levy expires at the end of the year.


The senior services levy is a renewal of a five-year, 0.6-mill tax issue that first passed in 1991 and has been approved by voters five times since. But Issue 8 does include a slight increase of 0.15 mill, which means it will go .75 mill, if renewed. The levy increase equates to about $4 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home.


According to the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Lucas County is experiencing unprecedented growth in its 60-and-over population, as the Baby Boomer generation matures. 


In 2000, Lucas County had 76,180 seniors.  In 2020, the number of Lucas County seniors is projected to reach 101,899, a 33 percent increase. By 2024, that senior population is estimated to be 108,382. The fastest growing segment in this group is people over age 85, the ones most likely to need senior services.


Levy backers say the current senior services tax issue will provide this year a projected 331,000 home-delivered meals, several thousand hours of home care for homebound seniors, and day care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. Levy funds also help seniors with transportation to medical appointments, chores, and senior center services.


Senior leaders say the opioid epidemic has led to a new demand for senior services. The number of seniors who are abusing or addicted to opioids is rapidly increasing. A rising number of grandparents and older residents are caring for the children of younger parents who are addicted. The Area Office on Aging administers the Kinship Navigator program, which assist those grandparents by providing support and other services to help them raise that second generation.


County leaders say the levy and its approval are needed to keep seniors in their homes instead of going to nursing homes prematurely.


Backers say the property tax increase will provide the following new services:

·         Meals to homebound and frail elderly;

·         Homecare services to help Lucas County seniors remain independent and at home;

·         Services for persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia and their caregivers; and

·         Medical transportation, home modifications, senior center services and facilities, as well as chore services.


There also are two important suburban school tax issues on the Lucas County ballot for the Nov. 5 election.


Issue 6 is a five-year, 5.27 mill property tax renewal for Springfield Local Schools. Top administrators contend the operating levy is needed to avoid a budget deficit in the school district. The levy is a renewal of an emergency operating levy first passed in May 2015. It would generate about $3.9 million per year. The levy would help maintain academic and extracurricular activities such as AP and honors courses, as well as athletics.


Issue 7 is a combination bond issue and operating levy for the Washington Local School District. 3 mills would fund 37 years for construction of elementary schools and 3.9 mills would be used for current operating expenses.


District officials say the $50 million bond issue would leverage another $178 million in state funding for school construction. The district serves more than 7,000 students in school buildings that now are more than 60 years old. The operating levy would generate $3.2 million per year. The combined measures would cost an owner of a $100,000 home roughly $242 per year in additional property taxes.


Early voting is currently underway. The Lucas County Early Vote Center, 1301 Monroe St., downtown Toledo, is open daily through parts of Monday, Nov. 4. The election is on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Voting center hours can be found at the Lucas County Board of Elections website, www.co.lucas.oh.us/74/Board-of-Elections.


La Prensa encourages its readers to vote affirmatively for Issues 8, 7, and 6.




Copyright © 1989 to 2019 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10/29/19 12:10:51 -0800.




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