1 countywide tax, several school levies on May ballot

One new countywide tax will be on Hancock County’s primary election ballot in May, and voters in three county school districts will be asked to renew taxes.
In addition, two areas of the county are seeking levies to assist with fire protection.
Wednesday was the deadline for candidate names and tax issues to be placed on the May 8 primary election ballot, 90 days prior to the election.
The Hancock County Department of Job and Family Services will seek voter approval of a 1.2-mill, 10-year levy to help finance department programs.
If approved, the countywide tax will generate $2.31 million annually. The owner of a residential property with a $100,000 appraised value, or market value, would pay an additional $42 annually.
The funds would be used for child protective services, adult protective services, and child care.
The Arcadia, Cory-Rawson and Liberty-Benton school districts are asking voters to renew tax levies or income taxes.
Arcadia School District voters will decide the renewal of an emergency levy that generates $305,000 annually for day-to-day operations. The 2.54-mill, three-year levy has been adjusted from the 3 mills previously approved by voters.
The district includes a portion of Hancock and Seneca counties.
Emergency levies generate a certain dollar amount. By state law, the millage rate is adjusted so the levy generates the same amount annually.
Cory-Rawson School District voters will decide whether to renew a 0.75 percent, five-year school income tax, effective Jan. 1, 2019. The tax generates $695,223 annually, equal to 4.98 mills if the measure was a property tax.
The income tax money is used for day-to-day operations in the district.
Liberty-Benton School District voters will decide whether to renew two emergency levies. One is for 3.5 mills, to generate $724,000 a year, and was previously renewed at 4.4 mills in 2009.
The other levy is for 3.62 mills, to generate $700,000 annually, and was approved for the first time at 4.6 mills in 2009.
Both proposed levies are for 10 years, first payable in 2020.
Separately, the new Southwestern Hancock Joint Fire District is requesting a 1.5-mill, five-year levy to pay for fire protection in Union and Van Buren townships, including the Rawson, Mount Cory and Jenera fire departments. The tax would generate about $159,000 annually.
The joint fire district was created in November, effective Jan. 1. The district will be responsible for fire protection beginning April 1, 2019, when funds would be available if the levy is approved by voters in May.
If the levy is not approved, the district would still be effective and participating entities would provide funding based on real estate valuation.
Separately, Washington Township is seeking renewal of a 1-mill, five-year tax for fire protection. In November 2013, voters approved a 1-mill, five-year levy to generate $42,659 annually.
The funds were sought to replace a pumper truck and for general operating expenses of the department.
Also, the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts is seeking a liquor option for Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages.



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