Parks and rec levy on council agenda

Earned income tax increase to raise $25M for projects

By Melanie Yingst -

TROY — Troy City Council will consider the proposed 10 year, .25 percent earned income tax for $25.7 million in recreation projects, including a second skating rink, on Monday.

Council will vote on two emergency issues regarding the proposed levy, one to place it on the ballot and the second to increase the city’s income tax by the 0.25 percent to begin collecting in Jan. 2018 if it is passed by voters on the May 2 primary ballot.

If the levy passes, the earned income tax would collect at a total 2 percent rate from its current 1.75 percent. Park and recreation chairman Brock Heath and member Doug Tremblay also voted to consider the ordinance as an emergency to meet the Feb. 1 deadline for filing ballot issues.

Committee member Robin Oda filed a minority report stating she did not support the emergency designation, although she supports the overall initiative to be presented to the Troy residents for their vote.

At the committee meeting, the city’s director of public service and safety Patrick Titterington addressed the staffing levels of the city’s recreation and parks personnel. Titterington noted the city recognized some staff would be needed if the Operation Recreation projects moved forward. Titterington also noted many of the organizations who would utilize Duke Park North and its proposed expansion would participate in maintenance, such as ball field work.

According to the Operation Recreation Levy Committee, the earned income tax option would affect working Troy residents as well as non-residents working in the city; would not tax retirement income; generate more revenue to reduce the dependence of private fund raising, the funds generated “should guarantee that all projects will be completed” and the 10 year income tax increase would allow for the construction of a second ice rink.

According to the committee report,the 2010 U.S. Census, Troy’s median income per worker of $28,651, a .25 percent increase would cost $71.63 per year or less than $6.00 per month. Using median household income of $47,517 per year, the estimated maximum increase would be less than $10 per month. An analysis by Troy Income Tax staff estimates an average maximum income tax increase of $6.14 per month.

The 10-year plan would raise approximately $25.7 million over the decade of collection. The 10-year plan includes the projected $10 million second ice rink which would be Olympic regulation size.

The city of Troy has pledged $1.86 million over the 10 years to help fund the projects. An additional $840,000 in grants and $1.1 million in foundations and private pledges was also included in its projections.

The Operation Recreation plan still includes improvements to the Duke Park North infrastructure, Miami Shores Golf Course, Troy Senior Citizens Center with an addition to the initiative of a proposed $10 million second ice rink adjacent to the newly renovated Hobart Arena.

If passed, the 0.25 percent earned income tax would revert back to the 1.75 percent after the 10 year period of collection is complete or if funds were collected at a higher allowing the levy to “sunset” early.

The list of projects to be completed with the levy funds if passed include Duke Park construction of nine baseball/softball fields, three youth soccer fields, improve parking, park entrances and consolidate park maintenance, extension f water and sewer utilities to the Troy Junior Football concession stands.

Miami Shores Golf Course’s projects include complete renovation of the clubhouse and installation of an outdoor practice driving range.

Hobart Arena’s project would include the 100-feet by 200 feet Olympic-sized ice rink with bleacher seating for up to 1,2000.

The William Maier Senior Citizens Center projects would include repairs and renovation of the roof, siding, foundation, doors, windows and concrete; restoration of shuffleboard courts and resurfacing of the parking lot.

The new proposal includes expanded project features of the initial recreation proposal presented this fall with the 2.1-mills property tax levy on the Nov. 8 ballot. Council voted to remove that levy due to an error in the ballot language on Nov. 7. That levy proposed to raise $8 million for projects with a goal of raising $4 million in private donations.

Council will also consider an ordinance to approve the annexation of 55.8 acres located east and north of Lytle Road from Concord Township. The annexation was filed by First Troy Corporation.

Earned income tax increase to raise $25M for projects

By Melanie Yingst

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews