Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Written Testimony about JEDZ ....

Written testimony of Joseph Honerlaw, Springfield Township Trustee before the
House State and Local Government Committee

Good afternoon Chairman Blair and Honorable Members of the House State and local Government Committee. My name is Joe Honerlaw and as Mr. Hinnenkamp mentioned, I am a Township Trustee for Springfield Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. I have held this office since 1996. Springfield Township is, for the most part, “built-out.” There are very few commercial or industrial uses in the Township and little land on which to develop such uses in the future. Therefore aggressive redevelopment and economic tools are critical to sustaining our community. Approximately, 30% of all of the land in Springfield Township is used for purposes which are exempt from paying property taxes (e.g. schools, churches, Winton Woods). As a
result, the vast majority of Township services are supported by the remaining 70% of the Township property owners – primarily residents – who pay one of the highest property tax rates in the County and State. lthough nearly 75% of each Township resident’s property tax bill is not Township taxes, the burden of these high taxes remains the same. The Township has worked hard to manage our own affairs and in recent years have
adopted and implemented economic development plans to revitalize our housing stock and redevelop our business corridors. However, recent actions by the State Legislature, including the consideration of HB 289 are making the completion of our plans and our very survival more and more unattainable. In 2011, the State Legislature dealt the Township a devastating blow by enacting sweeping changes to Ohio law which liminated a majority of the Township’s State funding sources. These legislative changes completely decimated all of the Township’s financial planning and its 5-Year Budget projections. By these changes, and over only a 2-year period of time, the State Legislature eliminated the estate tax, the tangible personnel property tax, the public utility tax, and reduced the Township’s share of Local Government Fund revenue by over 60%. Starting in 2013, these reductions will amount to a loss of nearly $2.5 Million dollars to Springfield Township each year. More than $2 Million of the reduction in revenues is in the Township’s General Fund and depletes that fund by more than half of its total annual revenue. If the JEDD/JEDZ option is eliminated from the tools available to the Township, Springfield Township residents and businesses will see a dramatic difference in the Township where they live and work and which they helped to create. The financial gap is simply too large for it to be otherwise. The Township has already cut $1.7 million dollars in expenditures. A further $2.5 Million dollar cut each year simply cannot be achieved without very real and very drastic reductions in personnel and services. And, there will be no other entity to “pick up the slack.” The Township will be unable to meet
many of the statutorily-required duties that impact all departments and services to the community, including debt obligations. Long term, property values and the quality of life in the Township will be diminished. School districts will be negatively impacted. Greater demands will be placed on the county and state governments to provide services which they do not currently provide, with fewer and fewer tax revenues coming in to pay for them. Springfield Township has managed to be successful because of our ability to cooperate with our neighbors, share services, and our ability to effectively manage our resources to provide high quality services to our residents. A further reduction to our already severely limited existing revenue raising tools will
undo many of the successful challenges we have met as a community and further damage our ability to meet the demands of the future head on. The Township has moved forward with steps to create a JEDZ in 2014 to provide some of the critical revenue we will need to remain sustainable. I strongly urge you to oppose moving this bill forward and keep the JEDD/JEDZ legislation as it is and as it has been for many, many years. Thank you very much for your time and attention today. Mr. Hinnenkamp and I are happy to answer any questions you may have.


Call Jeff Dean at 244-1364 days and 761-6277 evenings/weekends if St.X's loudspeakers are bothering you. Some of our neighbors called to complain about the loudspeakers for the lacrosse games 3 or 4 days a week.  One neighbor called to  turn the microphone down and they didn't respond! 

Friday, April 25, 2014


Click on  JEDZ for more information before you head to the polls.  If you have additional questions, please join us at the Finneytown Civic Association Meeting on Monday at 7 pm at the Grove.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Looking for an Easter Egg Hunt this weekend?

Everyone is invited to the Easter Egg Hunt at Faith Lutheran Church in Finneytown (8265 Winton Rd). It will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, April 19th. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt and other treats for toddlers through 6th grade, plus skits by the youth group. Then on Easter morning we have a Contemporary Worship Service at 7 AM, a free breakfast at 8 AM, Sunday School at 9 AM, and a traditional Worship at 10:15 AM. Please join us! All are welcome!