Coalville resident Jacqueline Smith submitted approximately 2,400 signatures today (Tuesday) at 4:40 p.m., enough roll back two recent tax rate increases and place them on the ballot in 2014. Smith said 200 of the signatures were collected today.

After a summer-long effort she said she felt "fantastic" about surpassing the number of signatures needed to freeze a pair of recently enacted county tax hikes. "I'm going to sleep really well tonight," Smith said.

Patti Deden, who helped collect signatures, said nine out of 10 people she talked to were happy to sign the petition.

"Those who weren't said things like, 'I don't mind paying more taxes,'" Deden said. "There were a few people, but it was very rare. Mostly, it was gratifying making the public aware."

Deden said one man even went back into a store and came back out with a bottled water and a candy bar for her, saying, "Thank you so much."

"Most people thanked us," Deden said.

Smith added that the issue seemed very bi-partisan for a lot of people across the county. "We've had all affiliates sign it: Democrat, Republican and Independent."

The Summit County Council, following a lightly attended Truth in Taxation hearing last December, approved the Municipal Fund and Service Area #6 tax increases in June.

The Municipal Fund tax affects property owners in the Summit County's unincorporated areas, while the Service Area #6 tax affects specific unincorporated neighborhoods throughout the county. Some property owners fall into both areas.


The tax increases passed by Council are projected to generate $1.425 million and $177,000 for the county, respectively, and would cost property owners $64 a year on a home assessed at $480,000 for the Municipal Fund tax, and $29 a year on a home assessed at $498,000 for the Service Area #6 tax .

Summit County resident Mike Crittenven came to the Clerk's Office to sign the petition at the last moment, saying that, unlike the folks Deden spoke of, he did mind paying more taxes.

"I'd like to see us make do with what we have, rather than raise them," Crittenden said. "I guess once we exhaust all those avenues, then other considerations have to be made, but I'm not sure we're at that point."

A total of 2,115 signatures were required by Oct. 8 to put the tax increases to a vote. If the Clerk's Office verifies that enough signatures qualify, the tax increases, which were scheduled to appear on November tax bills, will be frozen until voters decide their fate in the 2014 general election.

The Summit County Council has already factored the tax increases into the current budget. County Manager Bob Jasper stated in a previous interview that if the increases are frozen, the Summit County Council will likely have to cut jobs and road maintenance in the areas affected by the two taxes to balance the budget.