On November 2, Hilliard residents will be invited to “imagine the possibilities” of all the great parks and recreational facilities that could improve their lives if voters approve an income tax initiative.
Before explaining why the city is asking for these funds, let’s quickly cover what this question of the ballot entails.
If approved, the tax initiative would increase the city’s income tax by 0.5 percentage point to 2.5%. The resulting funds would be entirely devoted to recreation and parks, including the construction of a new community center similar to those in neighboring communities. Other results would be new trails, new parks and park improvements, programs for seniors and more athletic fields.
Since the city’s income taxes are mostly paid by those who work in Hilliard – whether or not they live here – nearly three-quarters of Hilliard residents would not pay higher taxes if this issue were resolved. .
A detailed explanation of why most Hilliard residents would receive benefits without a tax increase is available at hilliardohio.gov/pathtopossibilities. There’s even a calculator to find out how your own taxes would be affected.
So why did Hilliard City Council decide to ask voters for this tax hike? Because residents have told us they want more of these amenities and because having strong parks and recreation experiences creates a quality of life that makes Hilliard a community that people want to live in, work in. , learn and play.
We surveyed residents earlier this year, and the results indicated tremendous community support for increased investment in a new community center and our parks. For example:
• 54% of respondents said a new community center should be a priority for the city.
• Residents said they wanted more nature, multi-use and cycling trails; more aquatic space; more small neighborhood parks; more large community parks with sports fields; more special events; and more recreation and park programs.
I probably don’t need to convince you that parks and recreation improve your quality of life. Over 90% of residents have visited at least one of our parks in the past two years.
So whether you are visiting our parks to play softball or disc golf, attend one of our community festivals, cycle on one of our trails or simply enjoy the tranquil green space, your quality of life. life is enhanced by Hilliard’s parks and recreation options.
There are also financial benefits for landowners and business owners that this type of community investment pays off.
For homeowners, aesthetically appealing parks, trails, recreation centers, programs, special events and community have a direct impact on property values.
Investments in parks and recreation are also an economic driver for a community like Hilliard. They create the kind of community businesses to consider when looking for a place to build and grow. Businesses want to be able to attract the highest quality employees, and in a competitive job market, being in a community with great recreational facilities can be a big selling point.
We encourage our residents to become educated voters – to learn about the possibilities that an income tax increase would present to the community and to decide for themselves if that path makes sense this November 2.
Visit hilliardohio.gov/pathtopossibilities for more information on the poll initiative.
Pete Marsh is Chairman of Hilliard City Council.