SHARON – Sharon City Council has passed a budget that holds property taxes steady for the 11th consecutive year.

The 2021 spending plan holds property taxes at 29.51 mills.

“Our goal is, we don’t want to raise taxes,” City Manager Bob Fiscus said. 

Fiscus said city officials considered the effects of the pandemic while creating the 2021 budget.

“I don’t know if it was any more difficult. We had to take that into consideration,” Fiscus said. “The difference is we had a little more input from Berkheimer. They gave us their projections and we went a little more conservative. There were a lot of unknowns.”

Berkheimer is the private company the city hires to collect wage taxes.

The proposed budget contains a 2% wage increase for employees. Due to retirement of longtime employees who were replaced with personnel being paid lower salaries, wages increase by only $6,000.

“Hopefully as the year goes on, we’ll continue to evaluate revenues and make adjustments as we go,” Fiscus said. “Last year, we cut all line items by 15%. When we did the 2021 budget, we started with the 15% off.”

One mill is $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. Assessments are based on 1970 property values. The owner of a property assessed at $25,000 would have a municipal tax bill of $737.75.

In 2021, the city has budgeted and will pay $591,318 in debt service and an additional $31,292 for capital improvements.

Capital improvement funding will support $2.8 million in spending for a range of programs, including the Neighborhood Revitalization Project Phase 3, the Streetscape Irvine Route 62 project and downtown Sharon Riverfront Urban Park project.

The city also committed to spending $300,000 on blight remediation, to fund the demolition of 25 to 30 houses every three months.

“We want the city to continue to be attractive to family and businesses,” Fiscus said.

Follow Melissa Klaric on Twitter and Facebook @HeraldKlaric, email: mklaric@sharonherald.com

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