Wait to Renew the Income Tax Levy

Make Council prove they aren’t wasting our money
Tom McMasters
Candidate for
HH City Council Ward 6
Wait to Renew
 the earned income tax levy that doesn’t expire until 2025!
You can vote by mail in April or in person Election Day May 2nd,
either way, promote smart financial decisions by
voting No on the Renewal Levy

The city has been spending millions and millions fixing up the old Marion Shopping Center on Brandt Pike, do you know if its $8 million or $20?  Can you tell if it will break even, or lead to higher taxes? The lack of any call out on the city website gives us a hint!

Go to HHOH.Org and you will find many references to the Renewal Levy, but you won’t find one, easy-to- comprehend page giving details on how much the city expects to spend or how much it expects to get back from the old strip mall.  You can’t pick Transformational Economic Development Program from the website’s dropdown menu to see what’s happening with the $3.7 million dollars used to purchase land on Executive Blvd. Two major City Projects tying up a lot of money.  No Information!

Look at the record – secrecy causes waste:
-In 2008, concrete planters blocked Carriage Trails Blvd because in 2006 Council hid the details about the failed golf course project. 
-After being hidden for months in multiple executive sessions, the Aquatic Center was revealed as a $6 million dollar project.  It ended up costing us more than $10 million!

In contrast – transparency leads to success:

- True, its not me to champion projects like the Music Center.  But after being elected Mayor, I resolved that if we were going to do it, we would do it right.  One tool – a web page with a live view of the construction site and financials that were open and complete.  The result: original budget $19 million, actual cost $19.2 million.
- Similar transparency resulted in my still being in office to christen the new firehouse when it opened – on budget and on time.

Don’t skip this election! 
The city needs you to get to the polls and vote no on the tax levy.
Show council we mean business when demanding they re-establish the transparency that leads to success and the best use of our tax dollars.   
Thank you in advance for promoting strong emergency services without breaking the bank.                                                   .                                                                              Tom

Of course, there will be howling and complaining about the way I paraphrased the Mayor’s actions into words.  Knowing this, it makes sense to show that unless he works to correct the City’s misinformation, its accurate for people to believe he thinks running a strip mall is more important than strong emergency services. 

The responses to the FAQs are not true.  The Mayor and every member of Council must start acting responsibly.  Make them be up front and tell us the reason they want us to vote for the Emergency Services Renewal levy, is so there is enough total money available for them to build new City offices. 
A good place for him to start is the FAQs on the levy:

The fact is the pandemic was a boon for the City’s finances.  So even though in Oct 2019 city staff warned council that their spending habits were on track to deplete the General Fund by 2027, the combination of a better than expected economy and the State of Ohio pumping extreme amounts of money to cities and towns during of the pandemic, has led to a record amount of money in the City’s General Fund.   Let me state unequivocally that if the renewal levy fails there would be no need to make cuts to emergency and safety services if the city chose instead to stop losing money on the strip mall and delayed building new city offices until there was a revenue source to fund them.  
The renewal levy is projected to bring in $2.7 million a year, the best we can tell, based on the little bit of information council has been willing to share, is the city plans to spend $20 million out of the General Fund to pay for the new offices project.  $20 million would replace 7 ½ years of police levy funding.  Who knows how many additional years of funding the police we would get if the city stopped losing money on the strip mall. 

It is my strongly held belief that we get more from our tax dollars when your Council gives you accurate and complete information. They have already proven they are not going to voluntarily provide details about major expenditures in a comprehensive and understandable way.  The May renewal levy does not expire until Jan 2025. The fact is, there is NO threat the city will collect any less police and fire revenue in 2024, if the city is forced to put the levy back on the ballot in any of the next three elections that occur before it expires.  By voting NO in May, we can force Council to provide the public disclosure of budget details that makes it infinitely more likely that city projects come in on time and on budget.


This flier was paid for by Tom McMasters.  Technically, with permission of my wife.  In reality though, after I told her I felt obligated to run for Council and asked her to sign my nominating petition, she went through all five stages of grief, starting with an involuntary shrill of “no” and progressing through a period of crying before finally relenting.  I wish I could say this is written with the same lighthearted cheerfulness that prompted me to include, “with permission of my wife” on every other piece of campaign material ever produced.  But its not.   If you happen to be one of those people that believe, we should be getting good written documents as part of the agenda read ahead materials, open and transparent discussions of issues by council, and a five-year capital improvement plan with content, the next time you see her, let her know.  That will go a long way in allowing me to end future campaign materials on a lighter note.

Note: HuberResidents.org is how you search for me on Facebook and also the URL to my website.