Five Rivers MetroParks appreciates all of the citizens of Montgomery County who support us with the property tax levy that constitutes the bulk of our funding, and we are committed to being a responsible steward of these funds.
Local levy support makes up approximately 80 percent of Five Rivers MetroParks’ annual revenue so it is critically important to sustaining everything we do.
MetroParks’ last levy was approved by nearly 71 percent of Montgomery County voters in 2009 — and it expires next year (2019).
So the Five Rivers MetroParks Board of Park Commissioners put a replacement levy on the Nov. 6 ballot to allow us to continue providing safe, clean parks and trails; protecting green space and natural resources; keeping our waterways clean; and offering the numerous programs and outdoor experiences residents here value.
In 2010, MetroParks’ levy provided just under $17.9 million annually. However, due to reduced total property values and collections, the levy now generates about $2 million less — just under $15.9 million annually.
With voter approval of the Nov. 6 levy, property owners would pay $1.48 more a month per $100,000 of property value, and MetroParks will receive about $18 million annually.
- Oct. 9 is the deadline to register to vote. Learn more about how to register to vote on the Montgomery County Board of Elections website. You also can register online.
- Early voting and absentee voting begin Oct. 10. (Military and overseas absentee voting begins Sept. 22 in Ohio.)
Find your voting location at the Montgomery County Board of Elections website.
FIVE RIVERS METROPARKS 2017 FUNDING
Five Rivers MetroParks takes its responsibility as a steward of the public’s funds very seriously and is committed to providing quality and value for the community.
A levy supported by Montgomery County residents allows MetroParks to carry out its mission of protecting the region’s natural heritage and providing outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection to nature. The levy funds 80 percent of MetroParks’ work.
It has become increasingly critical that Five Rivers MetroParks diversify its revenue streams to fill the gap created by eroding property tax revenue and state incomes. Taxpayer dollars need to be supplemented for us to continue to provide and improve the high-quality parks and programs our community deserves. Therefore, Five Rivers MetroParks is increasingly focused on developing new partnerships and implementing efficiencies and cost reductions that maximize levy dollars and create more-balanced and sustainable finances.
FAQs ABOUT THE FIVE RIVERS METROPARKS LEVY
Q: What is the millage of the proposed levy?
A: The proposed levy is for a replacement of MetroParks’ existing 1.8-mill levy that is set to expire in 2019, plus an increase of 0.2 mills.
Q: How much money would the proposed levy raise annually for Five Rivers MetroParks?
A: Based on projections from the Montgomery County Auditor, the proposed levy would generate approximately $18.1 million annually for Five Rivers MetroParks.
Q: How much does the existing 1.8-mill levy generate?
A: In 2010, the existing 1.8-mill levy provided approximately $17.9 million annually for MetroParks. However, due to reduced total property values and collections in Montgomery County, the levy currently generates approximately $15.9 million annually (2018).
Q: How much funding loss has Five Rivers MetroParks experienced?
A: Since 2010, Five Rivers MetroParks has lost more than $20 million in funding (a cumulative loss during the past nine years) due to state cuts and reduced property tax revenue.
Q: What has Five Rivers MetroParks done to reduce expenses?
A: Five Rivers MetroParks has made considerable efforts to tighten the reins on spending. In fact, MetroParks’ overall budget in 2018 was less than the 2010 budget by more than $4 million. Staffing levels have remained flat and employees are more engaged in their health care to help keep insurance costs down. In addition, the Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation was established in 2014 to fund special projects, programs and endowments, and Five Rivers MetroParks sought new sources of revenue through partnerships, sponsorships and fees, which have generated nearly $1 million in new annual revenue in recent years.
Q: How much of Five Rivers MetroParks total budget does the levy represent and how are the funds used?
A: Our local levy makes up approximately 80 percent of all annual revenue, so it is critically important to everything we do. Five Rivers MetroParks has adopted a 10-year comprehensive master plan to ensure it is addressing community priorities. Levy funds are used in many ways to benefit our community and allow MetroParks to:
- preserve green space
- protect natural resources and the quality of streams and river corridors
- provide outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all ages
- keep parks and trails safe and clean
- maintain existing facilities
- offer a variety of educational programs about nature, history, gardening and fitness
- operate the 2nd Street Market to promote sustainability by featuring local growers, food producers and organic products
- host some outdoor festivals, events and performances
Q: How much more will I pay in taxes if the proposed MetroParks levy is approved by voters?
A: Property owners would pay $1.48 more a month (or $17.79 more a year) per $100,000 in property value with voter approval of the Nov. 6 levy.
Q: How many levies support our MetroParks, and how much do I currently pay in taxes for them?
Five Rivers MetroParks has just one levy, the 1.8-mill levy that is set to expire in 2019. Homeowners currently pay $4.35 a month (approximately $52 a year) per $100,000 in property value.
Q: Is the proposed levy permanent or temporary?
The proposed levy is temporary, meaning it will expire after a fixed period of time (10 years). It would need to be approved in a public election by Montgomery County voters to continue beyond that time.
Q: How long has Five Rivers MetroParks had local levy support?
Montgomery County voters have supported Five Rivers MetroParks with a levy since 1965. The last levy was approved by approximately 71 percent of voters in November 2009.