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Macedonia City Council clears up ballot confusion, says only two issues were proposed

by Briana Barker | Reporter Published: September 14, 2016 12:00 AM
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Macedonia -- City Council took steps Sept. 8 to clear up confusion at the Summit County Board of Elections regarding the city's proposed income tax issues for the Nov. 8 ballot.

Council passed three resolutions Aug. 9 to place two issues on the ballot: Issue 18 is a 0.25 percent income tax increase for 10 years to earmark money for roads, and Issue 19 would renew a 0.25 percent tax for recreation, which has been in place for 20 years and is set to expire next June.

Both measures had been approved for the ballot by a 3-2 Council vote, but Issue 19 -- the recreation center tax -- had been the subject of two ordinances: One amending the city's tax code according to rates that would be effective if Issue 18 were approved and a second amending the city's tax code according to rates that would be effective if Issue 18 were to fail.

Council voted 3-2 on Sept. 8 to pass a clarification ordinance stating the city was only asking for two ballot issues, not three. The ordinance also removes a reference stating "for placement on the ballot" in one of the two measures related to the rec center tax.

The Summit County Board of Elections found the city's submission of three ordinances for two issues to be confusing, according to Paula Sauter, deputy director of the Board of Elections.

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Macedonia Law Director Mark Guidetti said the two ordinances addressing the recreation tax were not intended to be separate ballot issues.

"We passed three ordinances for two ballot issues," Guidetti told the News Leader Sept. 12. "All we were doing was accounting for our local tax code language and doing it in a separate ordinance so it remains clear depending on what passes."

Sauter said it was agreed that the withdrawal of the second ordinance regarding the recreation center tax would eliminate the confusion.

"The Board indicated they would accept the withdrawal if the city voted to do so," she said. "And they did do that before the 60-day deadline."

Sauter said the Board will still need to officially vote to accept the withdrawal at its Sept. 20 meeting, which is four days before the federal deadline to have ballots ready for overseas voters. She said the ballot language for Issues 18 and 19 are still in the process of being approved by the ballot board and does not have a date for approval but said it should be "soon."

Sauter added there likely won't be a delay regarding ballots.

"We can't have any delay with the ballots; we have to meet federal deadline on the 24th," Sauter said. "We will have a ballot."

Briana Barker: 330-541-9432

bbarker@recordpub.com


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