Clayton vote places referendum on ballot


By Ron Nunnari

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CLAYTON — City council adopted by a 5-2 vote Thursday to place an issue on the ballot regarding the proposed rezoning of 42.99 acres of land along Phillipsburg-Union and Haber roads for development of the ‘Salem Springs’ subdivision.

Residents opposed to the development obtained signatures to place a referendum issue on the March 19, 2024 ballot. By law, the city is required to pass an ordinance to place the issue on the ballot for voters to decide.

A “yes” vote would approve the planning commission’s recommendation to approve the subdivision. A “no” vote by residents would repeal the proposal and would stop the development.

In a related matter, prior to the regular council agenda, resident Jeremy Blanford inquired about traffic counters placed in the roadway on Haber and Sweet Potato Ridge roads.

City Manager Amanda Zimmerlin explained that the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission requested traffic counts from the city for the area located north of National Road. The city’s engineering firm, Kleinger’s Group, set the counters up in the roadway.

The MVRPC requests traffic counts from area cities from specific areas of each city on an annual basis, according to Zimmerlin.

Blanford, who works in Dayton, also requested an explanation of the tax issue that will appear on the November ballot.

Finance Director Kevin Schweitzer said that information regarding the issue would be included in the city’s fall newsletter, which residents should receive in the mail on or around Oct. 11.

Schweitzer explained the city’s income tax is currently at one point five percent with a 50 percent credit. Residents only receive a point 75 credit if they work, as an example, in Dayton, which has a two-and-a-half percent income tax.

A resident would owe Dayton the 2.50 percent income tax and would still owe Clayton .75 percent income tax, meaning those residents would be paying a total of 3.25 percent income tax overall.

“What we are putting on the ballot is to raise our income tax to two-and-a-half percent with a 100 percent credit, so if you work in Dayton paying 2.5 percent you would get 100 percent credit and would owe Clayton nothing,” Schweitzer said.

“We are hoping to get rid of that burden of the 50 percent credit and will enable people to file online with the CCA we have and generate more income from people that work in Clayton instead of putting it on the residents as much,” Schweitzer added.

If approved by voters, the change would go into effect Jan. 1, 2024. The city does not tax retirement, only earned income. If voters approve to restore the 100 percent tax credit it could not be changed without a vote of the people.

The city has posts about this topic on its Facebook page as well as other posts about services provided by the city.

In 2016 when the state mandated changes to the tax code with estimated taxes, it became “a pain for everybody,” Schweitzer added. At that time, the city did not have to seek approval from voters to change the income tax to a 50 percent credit, but moving forward the issue would have to be taken back to voters to reduce the credit.

“At the risk of sounding like I am making a pitch for this, I do believe this will be a good step for the city,” said Mayor Mike Stevens. “Since I have been involved in council as mayor, I have taken so many calls on the tax issue. To me, I am personally glad that it going to vote not just for my personal finances, but every year we all get flooded with people that are really mad about the 50 percent tax credit and how it was done. Hopefully, this will rectify the matter.”

In other business, council adopted the first reading of an ordinance to approve replacement pages to the Clayton Codified Ordinances. Changes involve the traffic code and general offenses code as well as the fire prevention code.

A resolution was passed to enter into a renewal agreement with he the Public Entities Pool of Ohio and Burnham and Flower Insurance Group for property, casualty, and liability coverage from Nov. 1, 2023 through Oct. 31, 2024 with an annual premium not to exceed $128,600.

Council also passed a resolution to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the Montgomery County Budget Commission to authorize the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor.

Lastly, council passed a resolution supporting the Northmont City Schools levy on the Nov. 7 ballot urging voters to do the same.

Reach Ron Nunnari by email: [email protected].

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