By Kevin Aldridge
Enquirer staff writer
CHEVIOT - City Council wants to place on the Nov. 2 ballot an operating levy that would raise property taxes by about $95 a year on a $100,000 house.
City Auditor Daniel Murphy said the money would go toward Cheviot's dwindling general fund, which could face a deficit by the start of 2005.
The general fund, which runs at roughly $4 million annually, has been hit hard by the loss of nearly $200,000 in inheritance taxes, he said.
Revenues have remained flat, while expenses - mainly for salaries and benefits - have continued to increase each year, Murphy said. He estimated the levy would generate an additional $400,000 a year.
"We thought (the 4.25-mill levy) would be a good number that would allow us to plan for many years, at least," Murphy said. "We'd end up a couple hundred thousand dollars in the hole in a few years if things stayed the same."
The general fund currently operates from two existing levies, which Murphy said are no longer sufficient to cover costs of police, fire and other city services.
"Government isn't like a Kroger store. You can't raise the price of beans to cover the cost of operations," said Steve Neal, Cheviot's safety service director. "You've got to go to the people. We're hoping that they can understand that we wouldn't be coming to them if we didn't need the money."
Neal said there is some concern among city officials about competition from other countywide levies that also will appear on the November ballot. But Neal said he was confident that a majority of Cheviot's 9,000 residents would show their support.
"We are all competing for the buck," Neal said. "I'm just hoping that people say, 'If I'm getting taxed to death, then let the tax dollars come to where I live.' "
The deadline for placing a levy on the ballot is Aug. 19.
49 schools in city fail U.S. tests
Ballpark roofer claims Freedom owes $23,478
Steelworkers in pension fight
'Special rights' foes will sue
Big guns coming to woo veterans
IN THE TRISTATE
Cheviot citizens to decide on property tax increase
Underdog Fingerhut hits highway for votes
Mold found in Kings schools
Local news briefs
City debates target range
Perseid meteors rain this week
Clerk error misinforms state about capital case
Fixing agency large task
Turnpike changes sought for truckers
Public safety briefs
Athletic programs feeling pinch
Either/or sentences urged
17 day campers evacuated
Incentive package OK'd, but Dell shopping around
Home burglary suspect charged in West Chester
Bronson: DeWine finds the country on country roads
Good Things Happening
Leonard Sharrow, classical musician
Muhammad Ali Center lands hefty gift from Lennox Lewis
Bunning refuses political debate
More folks are having a fling with disc golf
2 years later, ex-candidate challenges Kenton golf costs
Kentucky news briefs
Riverpointe condo plan in Dayton wins OK
Diploma option causes debate
Candidates favor casino vote