Path to Possibilities: Rec & Parks Ballot Initiative

About Issue 22

  • On Nov. 2, Hilliard residents will be asked to approve Issue 22, an additional 0.5% municipal income tax, paid by individuals who work in the City of Hilliard corporate boundaries (regardless of whether they live here).
  • The current income tax is 2.0%. If approved, the tax will become 2.5% and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.
  • All additional revenue will be dedicated for recreation and parks, including design, construction, and operation of a new community center comparable to those in neighboring communities.
  • Social security and pension income are not taxed as earned income, so will not be affected by the proposed change.

Aesthetic color bar

illustration of park sticker

CHECK OUT THE POSSIBILITIES!

The City of Hilliard estimates the additional revenue would be around $7.2 million per year. This money will be dedicated solely for recreation and parks capital, programming, and operational expenses, including, but not limited to:

  • Community Center design, construction, maintenance and operations;
  • Trail acquisition, development and maintenance
  • Athletic field and facility design, construction, maintenance and operations
  • Parkland acquisition, development and maintenance
  • Older adult programming, services, and facilities
  • Capital projects (new, replacement, and improvements, including roads and utilities associated with Recreation and Parks infrastructure development and maintenance)
  • Art, culture and history facility and site acquisition, development, maintenance and operations
  • Recreation, parks, health and wellness programing and services
  • Special events programming and services
  • Recreation and parks facility upgrade and maintenance
  • Payment of principal and interest on debt issued by the City for the expenses listed above

More to Watch

Aesthetic color bar

FIND OUT HOW THIS AFFECTS YOU

Curious exactly how Issue 22 would affect you? Use this income tax calculator to project the expected change in your municipal taxes.

Note: What is the income tax “credit?” A Hilliard resident who is employed within another city that charges an income tax is not taxed twice. Hilliard provides a “credit” of the full amount of the 2% if a resident works in another community and pays taxes to that municipality. If this income tax increase is approved, that credit will also increase to 2.5%.

Aesthetic color bar

WHO PAYS HILLIARD INCOME TAX?

  • Most Hilliard residents pay no income tax to the City of Hilliard.
  • City services are largely funded by nonresidents who work in the City of Hilliard.
  • Senior adults living only on retirement incomes do not pay income tax to the City. Income tax is only paid on earned income.
  • If you work in another city where the income tax is equal to 2 percent, you currently pay Hilliard nothing. If Issue 22 is approved, the additional 0.5 percent would support Hilliard recreation and parks, including design, construction, and operation of a new community center comparable to those in neighboring communities.
  • If you work in a community such as Columbus, Worthington, or Upper Arlington where the income tax is already higher than 2 percent, you pay more income tax than if you worked in Hilliard. Issue 22 will not increase your taxes.
  • If you work in a city where the income tax is lower than 2 percent, you currently pay Hilliard the difference. If Issue 22 is approved, you would pay an additional 0.5% to Hilliard.

Aesthetic color bar
illustration of park sticker

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Many Hilliard residents have long said it would be wonderful to have a modern community center, perhaps along the lines as those offered in Westerville, Dublin, and Worthington.

In preparing to place Issue 22 on the November ballot, the City also has performed resident surveys and focus groups to identify what kinds of recreation and parks amenities our community desires most. This research included a regional market assessment that examine the types of recreational facilities, programs, and services needed in Hilliard and nearby communities.

The results of the survey, market study, feasibility report, and cost estimates for a possibile community center were presented to City Council this spring. In June, RPAC recommended that Hilliard City Council place an initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD NOV. 2.

  • Residents can register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot by completing the forms.
  • Find your polling location and/or drop-box location.
  • Military and overseas absentee voting begins Sept. 17.
  • Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 4 (9 p.m.).
  • Early in-person voting begins Oct. 5.
  • Vote-by-mail/mail-in absentee voting begins Oct. 5.
  • Absentee ballots must be received at board of elections by noon Oct. 30.
  • Request your absentee ballot and complete the application.
  • Election day voting: Nov. 2, 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

illustration of girl holding phone

REGISTER TO VOTE OR CHECK YOUR STATUS

You must register or update your voter registration no later than Oct. 4 for the Nov. 2 General Election.

Find Your Polling Location Learn More

FAQ

Election Day for City of Hilliard residents is Tuesday, Nov. 2, from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Here’s the official ballot language:

“Shall the Ordinance providing for a one-half percent (0.5%) levy increase on income earned on or after January 1, 2022, dedicated for recreation and parks capital and operational expenses, including, but not limited to: design, construction, maintenance and operations of a community center; trail acquisition, development and maintenance; parkland acquisition, development and maintenance; athletic field and facility design, construction, maintenance and operations; art, culture and history facility and site acquisition, development, maintenance and operations; recreation, parks, health and wellness programming and services; older adult programming and services; special events programming and services; recreation and parks facility upgrade and maintenance; road, utility and other capital associated with recreation and parks infrastructure development and maintenance; and the payment of principal and interest on debt issued by the City for the expenses listed above, be passed?”

  • The current income tax rate in Hilliard is 2.0 percent.
  • Most Hilliard residents pay no income tax to the City of Hilliard because City services are largely funded by nonresidents through individual income tax withholdings collected from those who work in the City of Hilliard, regardless of whether those individuals live here.
  • Senior adults living on retirement incomes do not pay income tax to the City. Income tax is only paid on earned income.
  • If you work in another city where the income tax is equal to 2 percent, you currently pay Hilliard nothing. If this ballot initiative is approved, the additional 0.5 percent would support Hilliard recreation and parks.
  • If you work in a community such as Columbus, Worthington, or Upper Arlington where the income tax is 2.5 percent, you pay more income taxes than if you worked in Hilliard (and this change would not cost you additional money.)
  • If you work in a city where the income tax is lower than 2 percent, you pay Hilliard the difference. If this ballot initiative is approved, you would pay Hilliard an additional 0.5% income tax.
  • Senior adults living on retirement incomes do not pay income tax to the City. Income tax is only paid on earned income.

The 0.5 percent income tax is estimated to result in about $7.2 million per year.

This money would be dedicated solely for recreation and parks type capital, programming, and operational expenses, including, but not limited to:

  • Community Center design, construction, maintenance and operations;
  • Trail acquisition, development and maintenance
  • Athletic field and facility design, construction, maintenance and operations
  • Parkland acquisition, development and maintenance
  • Older adult programming, services, and facilities
  • Capital projects (new, replacement, and improvements, including roads and utilities associated with Recreation and Parks infrastructure development and maintenance)
  • Art, culture and history facility and site acquisition, development, maintenance and operations
  • Recreation, parks, health and wellness programing and services
  • Special events programming and services
  • Recreation and parks facility upgrade and maintenance
  • Payment of principal and interest on debt issued by the City for the expenses listed above

Use the handy calculator near the top of this web page to determine the projected effect of this ballot initiative on your income.

  • COLUMBUS: 2.50%
  • DUBLIN: 2.00%
  • GAHANNA: 2.50%
  • GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS: 2.50%
  • HILLIARD: 2.00%
  • NEW ALBANY: 2.00%
  • UPPER ARLINGTON: 2.50%
  • WESTERVILLE: 2.00%
  • WORTHINGTON: 2.50%

Questions about local income tax and property tax are common for residents, business owners, property owners, and those employed within the city limits of Hilliard.

These two types of taxes are different in many ways, including how they are collected, who collects them, and what they pay for. Do you know what your taxes pay for?

It is important to know that municipal governments and school districts are separate governmental agencies with different governing bodies of elected officials.

Income Tax

Those who work within Hilliard corporate limits pay a 2-percent local income tax to the City of Hilliard. Many suburbs in Franklin County have a 2.5 percent income tax.

If Hilliard residents work in Columbus, they are paying more in local income taxes than if they work in Hilliard, because Columbus has a 2.5 percent income tax rate. Most local income taxes are collected by businesses in Hilliard withholding taxes and paying on behalf of their employees.

Local income tax is the City of Hilliard’s primary funding source, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the City’s general fund revenue. They are used to provide great City services and amenities. If you don’t work in Hilliard, you probably don’t pay Hilliard income taxes. More than three-fourths of Hilliard’s local income taxes are paid by people who work within Hilliard’s corporate boundaries, but do not live here.

Property Tax

Property taxes are paid to the Franklin County Treasurer and stem from the value of your house, business, or land. Property taxes can be rolled into escrow by your lender when you buy a house or land. If you own your house or choose not to escrow those payments, you can pay property taxes out of pocket when you receive a bill from Franklin County each year.

Franklin County distributes your property taxes to a variety of government-funded agencies. Nearly 61 percent of your property taxes are sent to Hilliard City School District, followed by Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities at 6.7 percent, and Children Services at 4.6 percent.

To view the tax distribution for your house, visit franklincountyauditor.com(External link).

Our community enjoys great services and quality of life amenities – such as snow removal, swimming pools, police, parks, bike trails, and the Senior Center – that are largely paid for by people who are not City of Hilliard residents.

Currently, 65 percent of City of Hilliard expenses paid for with local income taxes go toward the general fund, 25 percent pays for capital improvement projects, and 10 percent pays for annual street repairs and improvements.

income tax distribution graphic

Hilliard’s next Community Center will be built on City-owned fields just west of Municipal Park if voters approve Issue 22 this Nov. 2.

On Sept. 13, Hilliard City Council unanimously voted to approve the 125-acre Jerman property as the future home for the proposed Community Center with an integrated wellness center.

The Jerman property – along with the current parkland where the HOSA soccer fields are located – would comprise a 154-acre park that would also include new athletic fields, a potential new fire station, greenspace, and an extension of Cosgray Road to Alton Darby Road to alleviate traffic issues in the area.

The City purchased the Jerman Property in October 2020 with plans turn it into future parkland. Because the property is adjacent to Municipal Park to the east, it allows for natural connectivity for trails and existing roads.

“Of the possible sites we considered, the Jerman Property made the most sense for the Community Center,” said City Manager Michelle Crandall. “It is adjacent to Municipal Park, it is centrally located to the City, and developing this property allows us to achieve other goals, such as alleviating area traffic issues and developing this land in an environmentally appropriate manner.”

Council approved the property after viewing a concept plan for the park. Concept plans must go through a rigorous process before actual development becomes a reality, and there will be plenty of opportunities for public input into this process.

Before any of that happens, voters will be asked to vote on Issue 22, which would allow the City to collect an additional 0.5% municipal income tax from individuals who work in the City of Hilliard corporate boundaries (regardless of whether they live here).

The current income tax is 2.0%. If approved, the tax will become 2.5% and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022. In addition to a Community Center, funds would be used for new parks, trails, athletic fields, programs for older adults, and a host of other amenities.

All additional revenue from Issue would be dedicated for recreation and parks. Social security and pension income are not taxed as earned income, so will not be affected by the proposed change.

For complete information about Issue 22, visit Path to Possibilities.

At this time, specific amenities have not been finalized, but it is likely such a center would have comparable amenities to those in neighboring communities such as Dublin, Worthington, and Westerville. Such amenities likely would include (but not be limited to) aquatics, gymnasiums, fitness facilities, multi-purposes classrooms, and spaces for senior adults.

You can check your voter registration status through the Ohio Secretary of State website.

BE AN INFORMED VOTER

Hilliard City Council and the City of Hilliard staff believe all members of this community should participate in and be engaged with the operations of municipal government and the electoral process. We strive to provide our community with full, transparent, and unbiased information so voters can make informed decisions about topics that affect their lives.

Questions about this information, and about the proposed ballot initiative, can be addressed to the City at Talk2Us.hilliardohio.gov. Residents also can register to receive updates during and after the election at that site.