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Thursday, September 27th, 2007

No longer double taxed

By William Kincaid
ST. HENRY - Burkettsville residents living on the Mercer County side of the village will no longer be paying two separate fire levies due to the creation of a new fire district.
Granville Township Trustees recently created the Granville Township Fire District to exclude all municipalities (Burkettsville and St. Henry). This means those village residents would no longer pay into the Granville Township fire levy.
Then on Monday night, St. Henry village councilors approved joining into the Granville Township Fire District. Therefore, those village residents will continue to pay the levy.
The fire district basically was created to end unequal taxation in northern Burkettsville, according to Granville Township Solicitor Andy Hinders.
Burkettsville lies on the Mercer-Darke County Line, and only residents in northern Burkettsville (which is part of Granville Township in Mercer County) were paying two fire levies, one for Granville Township and one for the village of Burkettsville.
Now that Burkettsville is not part of the Granville Township Fire District, its residents will pay only the Burkettsville fire levy.
Both levies are set at 2.5 mills, with the Granville Township levy funds going to St. Henry Fire Department, and the Burkettsville levy funds going to the Burkettsville Fire Department.
Since 1995, Burkettsville residents living on the Mercer County side of the village were responsible for two tax levies, which many times were not assessed by the Ohio Department of Taxation, according to Hinders.
"The 1995 Burkettsville fire levy was collected in the village, along with the 1995 Granville fire levy," Hinders wrote in a press release about the issue. "It remained this way for Burkettsville until 1999. That year, for reasons unknown, but apparently due to a misunderstanding by the Ohio Department of Taxation, both levies were deleted for the village."
In 2000, both Burkettsville and Granville fire levies were renewed. But this time, the Granville fire levy was not assessed in Burkettsville, Hinders said.
"In 2005, both Burkettsville and Granville again placed their levies on the ballot, and again, both passed," Hinders said. "Again, Burkettsville's fire levy was placed on its tax rate schedule, but Granville's was not. This error was noticed in 2006, and both fire levies were places on Burkettsville's tax rate schedule."
The new fire district goes into effect immediately, so northern Burkettsville residents should no longer be paying the Granville tax, St. Henry Clerk/Treasurer Ruth Miller said this morning.
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