Glendale in the Balance

2012 Glendale Tax Levy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The purpose of this document is to share the common questions people have asked about the upcoming 2012 Glendale Tax Levy and associated topics of concerns from our residents. It is not meant to answer every single question about the levy, but hopefully it covers the majority of questions you might have.

Levy Information:

  1. Why is there a Property Tax Levy on the Ballot?

Glendale’s primary revenue source is two four year property tax levies that alternately appear on November election ballots biennially. The 2008 levy is due to expire this year, 2012. Revenue lost to the Village over the past couple years, due to property devaluations and elimination of some funding from the State of Ohio, has caused Village Council to seek an increase in millage this year to restore revenue to the 2008 level.

  1. What will it cost me?

The levy increase is 1.5 mills. For a $100,000 house this is about $45 extra per year or $3.75/month. To get a better estimate of on your actual tax increase, find the amount that closely matches the appraisal value (as calculated by the Hamilton County Auditor) of your home.

  1. Why this amount ~ 1.5 mill increase?

The 1.5 mill increase partly replaces the revenue lost due to property devaluation in the Village over the past couple years. The remainder of the shortfall will come fromsignificant Village budget cuts (some already in place, others planned).

  1. How big is the tax base in Glendale?

There are about 1000 households in Glendale. Residential Property Tax receipts amount to about 90% of Glendale’s operating revenue. Tax receipts over the past several years are:

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Actual Actual Actual Budgetanticipated, including 1.5 mill increase



  1. Why don’t we have separate levies for police, fire or EMS services?

The Village Property Tax levies currently cover all essential Village services.

  1. If the levy doesn't pass, how will it impact the Village? Will there need to be another levy?

90% of Village operating revenue comes from two 4-year property tax levies which are renewed biennially. If one of these levies were to fail, the Village would face a financial crisis. Another levy would certainly be brought to the voters, but could not be implemented for one year, due to County Auditor rules. Since another levy could not be put in place until the following year, emergency steps would have to be taken to make up the lost revenue. Charging residents for services (ie trash collection), or elimination/curtailment of services are likely steps to be taken.

  1. Will this be the last levy for a while?

Property Tax levies appear on the November ballot every other year. The next levy renewal will be in 2014. We anticipate another levy increase may be necessary at that timedue to shortfalls in our capital budget.

  1. Would a larger millage make more sense than coming back in 2 years for additional millage?

Council determined it was better to ask for a smaller levy increase at this time, in order to 1) minimize the impact of the increase to the residents, and 2) give Council more time to find additional savings opportunities in our existing budgets, to minimize future increases.

Property Tax:

  1. How much does the Village of Glendale represent out of my total property tax bill?

Glendale represents only about 30% of your total property tax bill. There are over 13 other groups that are represented on your property tax bill including: Princeton school district, library, parks, MRDD, etc.

  1. How can I find out my actual property tax and what items I am paying for?

Search for your property at

  1. How do we compare in property tax rates to neighboring communities?

Learn more about how Glendale rates compare to other communities at:

  1. How much will my property tax go up due to the passage of the Princeton school levy?

Learn more about the increase at

  1. How often are home value estimations done by the Hamilton Country Auditor?

Ohio Law requires a mass reappraisal of all real property in Hamilton County every six (6) years. The last major review was in 2011. Learn more at:

  1. What happens if the real estate market turns around, will my taxes go up if the value of my house increases?

Property Tax levies are for a fixed maximum revenue amount. Future Property Valuation increases will result in a lower effective tax rate. No increase in taxes would be realized.

Income/Sales Tax:

  1. Why don’t we just have an income tax like a lot of other places in Hamilton County?

Village Council has decided not to change the Village funding mechanism by implementing a new tax.

  1. Why don’t we institute a sales tax on the businesses within Glendale?

By Ohio Statute, Glendale is not empowered to levy a Sales Tax

Budget cuts to date:

  1. What have we already cut from the budget?

About $220,000 has been removed from the budget over the past couple years. An additional $25,000 of budget cuts have been implemented so far in 2012. Council has agreed to a target of $50,000 of new and permanent savings to the operating budget over each of the next four years; that means reducing from the current budget a total of $50,000 in 2013; $100,000 in 2014; $150,000 in 2015 and $200,000 in 2016.

  1. What about Village employees pay and benefits? Are we paying too much?

Village employee wages have been frozen for the past year, the freeze continues at least thru 2013.

Changes have been agreed by Council for additional reductions of some employee benefits (part of the $210,000 referenced above). Council has begun a broad-based benchmarking of our Wage and Benefit programs to ensure we are paying our employees reasonably.

  1. Aren’t there anymore cuts we can do without changing our quality of life?

Council continues to investigate potential budget reductions. We strive to balance reductions with maintaining the “look and feel” of Glendale.

Future budget cuts:

  1. What is being done outside of the levy to ensure my tax money is well spent?

A Village budget is prepared each year and Council reviews this in detail over a period of several months. Village staff, most of them long-term employees, are acutely aware that it is local residents who directly pay 90% of the Village expenditures, and they are constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce cost. A property tax levy must be submitted to voters for approval every two years, and this provides a final check that Council is providing only services that residents value.

  1. Instead of cutting staff (police or utility workers), couldn’t furlough days be instituted throughout the next 2 years to cover the offset in costs?

Village Council considered many alternatives to reduce our current costs, including furlough days for employees. The full list of planned cost reductions can be found at: View Here

  1. Can we outsource services that are done by our current Village employees and what would it save?

Village Council considered many alternatives to reduce our current costs, including outsourcing some Village Services. A pilot test for contracting mowing services is included in the current plan. The full list of planned cost reductions can be found at: View Here

Impact of Potential Budget Cuts:

  1. What happens if we cut back on the Village administration staff?

A plan is already agreed to reduce Village office hours and close the Post Office, savings generated by not replacing a recently retired employee.

  1. What happens if we reduce the Police Force?

The Police Force has already been reduced by one position. Maintaining Village safety is a priority for Council. There is no plan to further reduce the Police Force.

  1. What happens if we cut back on the Public Works?

Cuts were made in Public Works staffing in 2011 (retirements, not replaced, spreading the work amongst remaining employees). Any further cuts would require elimination of existing services. Also, in 2012 garbage pickup was changed to require that containers be taken to the street or additional fees will be charged.

Village of Glendale Services:

  1. What services does Glendale provide?

Check out for more information about Glendale services

  1. I don’t want to give up any of the Village services. How can I have a say on what is cut or kept in the future?

We want input and feedback from everyone. Try to attend the Financial Committee and Council Meetings. The schedule is posted at

  1. How were the decisions made on which services to cut?

Council went through careful deliberation for seven months, between January and July of this year, to evaluate options for closing budget gaps. The decisions taken were deemed the ‘best’ options for minimizing costs while maintaining necessary services. A complete list of revenue generating ideas under consideration by Council can be viewed on the Village website: View Here

Current Village Revenue Sources:

  1. What are the current revenue sources for the Village?

About 90% of Revenue required to support Village Operations comes from two 4-year property tax levies, which are renewed biennially. The balance comes from a combination of state tax receipts, mayor’s court fines, Village Service fees, cable TV franchise fees, and several miscellaneous smaller receipts.

  1. Are there other sources of revenue Council could use to cover Village costs?

Village Council has already agreed to institutes fees for police services provided for Village Events and Fire Department calls for non-emergency services. A complete list of revenue generating ideas under consideration by Council can be viewed on the Village website: View Here

  1. Doesn’t the Village receive money for having a cell tower on the Washington Park water tower?

The Village receives about $2000/month for the cell tower. Since the water tower is an asset of the Water Department, the rent received goes into the Enterprise fund, and is not available for the Village general operations budget.

  1. Our water rates are very high, why can’t the Village use the profit from the water rates to offset the lack of revenue?

Glendale water rates are at or below City of Cincinnati Water rates. The Glendale Water Department is operated as a not for profit enterprise. State Law prohibits mingling these enterprise funds with the Village Operating budget.

Future Village Revenue Sources:

  1. Why don’t we start to charge for Police/Fire/EMS services to cover our costs?

Council has agreed to begin charging Sponsors for Police Services for events conducted in the Village (ie 5K runs).

Council has already implemented charges for Fire Department responses to non emergency calls.

  1. Why don’t we increase the “rent” on the Depot for GHP?

Realizing more revenue from renting the Depot has been considered. Council is not pursuing this option because the Depot tenant is a non-profit organization that could not afford a significant rent increase. Also, that organization put a great deal of time and effort into refurbishing the facility.

  1. Why can’t we just sell or rent out more of the Village owned buildings?

Selling Village assets might provide some temporary budget help, but is not a sustainable solution for the ongoingVillage operating budget gap. Village Council has considered renting Eckstein, refurbishing and renting the Town Hall for events, or increasing the rent on the depot. None of these options will raise significant dollars, no action is planned for renting property at this time. A list of the budget cap closing measures that Council has agreed upon may be found on the Village website: View Here

  1. What is our decline in revenue and at what rate will it continue to decline

Village revenue declined about $220,000 between 2011 and 2012 (that’s ~ 10% of the Village budget). Further declines are uncertain, and linked primarily to property values in the Village.

  1. Why don’t we have more money?

The Village operates on a tight budget, matching revenues and expenses as closely as possible. No “surplus” cash reserve has been created in the past that we can use for operating revenues. This approach has helped keep Glendale property taxes low over the years.

  1. Does the Village have “surplus” cash that could be used to pay for some Village operations and keep our taxes lower?

No cash reserve has been created in the past that we can fall back on at this time. Glendale has received estate taxes in the past, which are reserved for Village Plan General Improvements. This fund may be used for capital projects and spending, but is not available to use for Village operating expenses.

  1. What’s the difference between our operating budget and our capital budget? Doesn’t it all come from the same pot of money? Can’t we move money from one to “pay” to the other?

The Village receives Property Tax monies each year. They are used for both capital and operating budgets. Once money is allocated to capital, it cannot be ‘moved back’ to the General Fund used to pay Village operating expenses.

  1. What is the VPGI Fund, and what is it used for?

The Village Plan General Improvement Fund was established in 1944, to support the Village Plan. Typical uses of the fund include acquisition of property and major capital projects. Village Council has agreed during these tight budget times to fund capital expenses for 2013 and 2014 from VPGI. This is a short-term solution to helpkeep the 2012 Property tax increase minimal, however it is not a sustainable solution. VPGI is funded exclusively by estate taxes (a revenue source that is eliminated at the end of 2012).

  1. What is the cost per resident for each area of service, i.e. police, fire, service department, etc.?

Assuming ~ 1000 Glendale households, the cost per household of the major Village Cost Centers is:

Department 2012 budget ~annual cost per household

Police $786,110 $786

Refuse $365,843 $366

Admin $363,910 $364

Streets $243,956 $244

Fire $159,046 $159

  1. Why did we invest in additional items, like a new fire truck and the Eckstein school, if we knew we had no money coming in to offset those costs?

Both the items mentioned are capital costs, not operating expense. The Eckstein purchase enabled Glendale to expand parkland adjacent to existing playfields. Firetrucks are purchased approximately every ten years, and have about a twenty year service life (we have two in Glendale, and purchase a new one/retire an old one on that cycle).

Glendale Website

Tax Levy Info Sheet