Trustees seek property tax advance

By Michelle Dupler
Staff Writer

Franklin Township officials say that money is dwindling, leading them to look for an advance on property tax revenues they’d ordinarily receive in October.

At the May 22 meeting, trustees unanimously approved a resolution allowing Fiscal Officer Lisa Morris to ask the Franklin County Auditor for an advance of 90 percent of the real estate taxes collected so far this year on property in the township.

Morris said the police and fire departments currently have enough money in their respective funds to pay about four weeks of payroll. The township overall has less than $1 million in total to pay for personnel, equipment, and to provide services.

Earlier this year, the township agreed to loan money to the police and fire departments from the general fund to bridge the budget deficits those two departments expected to see in 2014 because of diminishing tax revenues.

Morris said that the police and fire departments have not been asked to repay money loaned to them from the general fund in 2013.

“We try … if money is there, you’re going to see it spent on services,” Cook said.

At the same time that tax revenues are dropping because of state legislative policies, money that was supposed to come in from an agreement with Columbus following the city’s annexation of the Hollywood Casino property has been less than expected.

Don Cook, chairman of the board of trustees, said the first check the township received from the city was supposed to be almost $1 million, but was about one-third of that.

A quarterly payment for the first quarter of 2014 that should have been about $175,000 was $35,000, Cook said.

“Columbus money was supposed to come in at $750,000 a year,” he said.

Based on the first quarterly payment, the township can only expect to receive $140,000 this year, or about one-fifth the expected amount.

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