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