The petition calling for a voter referendum on the Summit County Council's Service Area #6 tax increase was seven signatures short of putting the new rate on hold. According to Jones, 2,118 signatures were required, but only 2,111 of those gathered by the petitioners were deemed qualified.
However, the petition protesting an increase of the Municipal Services Tax did pass muster with 2,154 qualified signatures.
Jones said each name and address on both petitions was run through the state data bank of registered voters. He commented that the petitioners had a high rate of qualified signatures.
According to previous statements by county officials, for Service Area #6, the increase amounts to $29.33 per year on an average-priced $498,000 primary residence and $53.32 for similarly valued second homes and commercial properties. That increase will be included on this year's property-tax bill and revenues will go toward road improvements.
The Municipal Services Tax increase would have cost the owner of a $480,000 home in the unincorporated areas of the county $64.41 more this year and would have increased the tax bill for second homes and commercial properties by $117.12. That tax increase would have appeared on this year's tax bills but will now be placed on hold. According to the county auditor's office, revenues from the Municipal Tax Fund are used to fund road improvements and also portions of the public safety and public works budgets.
Petition packets were turned in to the clerk's office Oct. 8 by Jacqueline Smith. At the time, Smith believed she and volunteers had collected enough signatures to quash both increases. She had 2,402 signatures on effort to recall the Muncipal Tax Fund rate hike and 2,352 to stop the service Area #6 tax increase.
Smith recently filed to run as a write in candidate for Seat C on the Summit Council.