Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement

126 th General Assembly of Ohio

Ohio Legislative Service Commission

77 South High Street, 9th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215-6136 Phone: (614) 466-3615

Internet Web Site: http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/

BILL:

H.B. 385

DATE:

January 12, 2006

STATUS:

As Introduced

SPONSOR:

Rep. Brinkman

LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENT REQUIRED:

No

No local cost

 


CONTENTS:

To make various revisions to townships laws

 

State Fiscal Highlights

 

        No direct fiscal effect on the state.

Local Fiscal Highlights

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

FY 2006

FY 2007

FUTURE YEARS

Townships

Revenues

Potential gain from the sale of cemetery related items and vendor fees

Potential gain from the sale of cemetery related items and vendor fees

Potential gain from the sale of cemetery related items and vendor fees

Expenditures

Potential increase in costs for providing public notice of parking authorization plans

Potential increase in costs for providing public notice of parking authorization plans

Potential increase in costs
for providing public notice
of parking authorization
plans

Note: For most local governments, the fiscal year is the calendar year. The school district fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.

 

        Deferred Compensation Changes. The bill permits townships, like municipal corporations, to provide additional authorized deferred compensation plans or programs without any limitation on the number that can be offered. There may be some increased administrative costs for developing these plans in townships that choose to offer them.

        Urban Township Laws. The bill permits these townships to adopt a general parking authorization plan for subdivision entrances and township cul de sac streets. The township must post any such rules for 30 days before becoming effective and must publish the rules in a newspaper of general circulation for three consecutive weeks. This requirement would add minimal costs for the 17 urban townships eligible to develop parking plans.

        False Fire Alarm Changes. The bill changes the false alarms for which a township may charge after the provision of written notice. Instead, the bill permits townships to issue a fine for any subsequent false alarms occurring after three false alarms within the same calendar year. The fiscal impact of this change is uncertain.

        Transient Vendor Fees. The bill increases the permissible fee for registration of a transient vendor from up to $75 to up to $150.

        Township Lighting Laws. The bill removes the competitive bidding requirements of lighting contracts within townships.

        Sale of Cemetery Related Items. The bill permits townships to sell cemetery related items and use the revenue from those sales for the care and maintenance of cemeteries within the township's jurisdiction.

        Disposition of Proceeds of the Sale of Improvements. The bill permits qualified townships that have used TIF financing for real property within the township to pay proceeds from the sale of a permanent improvement in the township into its general fund.

 


 

 

Detailed Fiscal Analysis

 

Deferred Compensation Changes

 

The bill permits townships, like municipal corporations, public institutions of higher education, and school districts under current law, to provide additional authorized deferred compensation plans or programs without any limitation on the number that can be offered. There could be some administrative costs for townships associated with the offering of additional deferred compensation plans.

 

Urban Township Laws

 

The bill permits urban townships to adopt general parking authorization plans for subdivision entrances and township cul de sac streets that do not exceed 1,500 feet in length. All regulations and orders pertaining to the plan must be posted by the township fiscal officer in at least five conspicuous public places in the township for 30 days before becoming effective. Additionally, these regulations and orders must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the township for three consecutive weeks. Any urban townships that wish to enact parking authorization plans will experience a minimal increase in costs for the posting of regulations and orders and for the publishing of regulations and orders in a newspaper of general circulation. The Ohio Township Association has indicated that there are currently 17 urban townships in the state.

 

False Fire Alarm Changes

 

Under current law, a township may assess a charge for responding to a false fire alarm if the fire department responds to a false alarm at a commercial establishment or residential building and the township has given written notice to the building's owner or lessee by certified mail that it may assess a state charge of $300 or less for each subsequent false alarm that occurs within a period of 30 days after any false alarm from that address. After such notice, the township may charge for a false alarm without further notice. The bill changes the false alarms for which a township may charge a fee. Townships may now charge a fee for all subsequent false alarms occurring after three false alarms by the same address within the same calendar year. The fiscal effect of this provision is unknown.

 

The fiscal effect of this change is unclear. The ability to assess this fee is permissive. It is unknown as to whether or not those townships levying such a fee will see a decrease in false fire alarm incidents that are applicable to a fine.

 

The bill also makes changes as to the procedure for collecting these fees. Current law provides that if a charge for a subsequent false alarm is not paid within 60 days after the owner or lessee receives the written charge by certified mail, that the charge must be entered upon the real tax property list, becomes a lien upon the property, and must be collected as taxes are collected. The bill requires a 30-day notice be provided before an unpaid charge becomes a lien. If a fine has not been paid within 30 days, the township fiscal officer must issue this notice to the owner or lessee. The fine must be paid or just cause must be shown as to why the fine should not be paid within 30 days. If this is not done, then the fine must be entered upon the tax duplicate, is a lien on the real estate and must be collected as taxes. The bill also requires that instead of being deposited into the general fund, that such fines collected be earmarked in the township treasury for use for fire services.

 

Transient Vendor Fees

 

The bill increases the permissible fee for the registration of a transient vendor from up to $75 to up to $150 for any required registration period. The provision could potentially increase revenues for townships.

 

Township Lighting Laws

 

Under current law, if a township procures lighting under a contract, and the total estimated cost of the contract exceeds $25,000, the township must competitively bid the contract. Such lighting contracts cannot exceed a ten-year period. The bill eliminates the requirement to competitively bid lighting contracts, as well as the ten-year limitation period. The removal of the competitive bidding requirement could eliminate any current administrative costs associated with the competitive bidding process. Additionally, townships would presumably have to resubmit a lighting contract for the competitive bidding process every ten years. These costs would also be eliminated.

 

Sale of Cemetery Related Items

 

The bill permits a board of township trustees to sell cemetery related items. The revenue from such sales must be used for the care and maintenance of any township cemetery within that township. Cemetery related items as defined in the Revised Code include, but are not limited to, monuments, vaults, outer burial containers, markers, and urns. Burial lots are not considered to be a cemetery related item. By permitting townships to sell such items, townships may potentially be able to use general funds that were previously used for township cemetery expenses to finance other projects.

 


Disposition of Proceeds of the Sale of Improvements

 

Currently, the Tax Levy Law provides that if a political subdivision sells permanent improvements, other than utilities, the amount received from the sale must be paid into the sinking fund, the bond retirement fund, or a special fund for the construction and acquisition of permanent improvements. The bill creates an exception for certain townships. Under the bill, a township with a population greater than 20,000 that has used tax increment financing for real property in the township may pay proceeds from the sale of permanent improvement of the township into its general fund if the following conditions are satisfied. First, the township fiscal officer must determine in writing that all foreseeable public infrastructure improvements to be made in the township in the ten years immediately following the date the permanent improvement is sold will have been financed through township tax increment financing on or before the date of the sale. Secondly, the permanent improvement being sold was financed entirely from moneys in the township's general fund. Finally, the township fiscal officer's written determination must be certified to the Tax Commissioner before any of the proceeds from the sale are paid into the general fund. This exception provided in the bill will allow certain eligible townships to have greater flexibility in the use of revenues generated from the sale of permanent improvements.

 

 

 

LSC fiscal staff: Terry Steele, Budget Analyst

 

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