Janesville55.8°

Harmony road referendum defeated

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staff, Gazette
August 15, 2012

— A referendum to levy $100,000 of taxes annually to repair roads in the town of Harmony has failed by the narrowest of margins.

The final tally on the question was 182 votes in favor of the referendum and 195 votes against.

The referendum asked for permission to fund increased costs of road maintenance and repairs. The referendum would allow the town to increase the levy by $100,000 for at least four years, or possibly longer.

The levy would mean an annual tax increase of roughly $45 to $50 for an owner of a $100,000 house. That figure is an estimate, though, because the town is in the middle of re-evaluating properties, and it is unclear how much valuations could change.

Officials said the tax levy increase was needed to tend to road repairs that have been put on the back burner due to escalating oil prices.

"We did not have a plan either way (on the election's results)," Town Supervisor Bill Barlass said. "We're just going to have to evaluate what our options are and go from there."

"We've kind of fallen behind on maintenance, and it's probably going to get worse," Town Board Supervisor Emmett Reilly said.

"I'm not real surprised at the results. Everyone's under some kind of financial constraints."



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