MOUNT VERNON — Infrastructure, particularly roads and bridges, is an important part of modern life, but repair and maintenance of those essentials doesn’t come cheap. Knox County Engineer Jim Henry has asked the county commissioners to place a 0.50 percent sales tax levy on the ballot to raise money for Knox County’s road system.
The state portion of the sales tax is 5.5 percent and counties may impose an additional 1.5 percent to bring the total to 7 percent. Knox County’s current total sales tax rate is 6.5 percent. The county portion of the sales tax is 0.75 percent. It goes into the General Fund and is continuing. The amount generated for 2012 was $4,389,868.59.
Four counties in Ohio — Delaware, Logan, Shelby and Union — have a sales tax for roads. Union County’s General Fund gets 0.25 percent sales tax, one-half of which goes to roads and bridges.
Logan County’s sales tax generates $2,722,000 each year for roads and bridges. Michael Yoder, Logan County Auditor, said the county has had a 0.50 percent sales tax since 1997, and it has been renewed by voters every five years. He said the commissioners chose to place the issue on the ballot rather than imposing the sales tax because “they wanted the people to decide if this was a good way to get money for roads.”
Yoder said the reason taxpayers continue to renew the tax is “they see the improvements in the [road] system and are pleased.”
Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa said voters approved a 0.75 percent sales and use tax for the maintenance of the county’s roads and bridges in 1998. When that resolution passed, the property tax was reduced by 1 mill.
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