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Yellow Springers pay more, receive more in public services

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It’s true, Yellow Springs is a more expensive place to live than many cities and towns surrounding it, according to a cost of living survey conducted in 2008 by the City of Fairborn. But village residents also benefit from a wider range of public services than other places as well, including access to one of the only municipal swimming pools in Greene County.

Such information could be relevant this May when villagers vote on the 8.4-mill Village property tax levy renewal that supports the general fund and pays for local parks and recreation, human services, and other capital items such as the roads. Extending the levy another five years would provide about $750,000 a year to the general fund and would cost residents about $233 per $100,000 of property valuation.

Yellow Springs was the fourth most expensive (counting property and income taxes and utilities) out of the 24 towns included in the Fairborn study. Cities that cost more were Trotwood, Oakwood and Kettering. Those that cost less included Huber Heights, Centerville, Fairborn and Bellbrook.

Compared directly to three comparably-sized towns in the region, the annual cost of taxes and utilities is higher in Yellow Springs.

Cedarville:         $4,300
Germantown:    $4,530
New Lebanon:  $4,940
Yellow Springs: $5,080

But for that extra cost, villagers have access to a local school system, police force with local dispatch, a pool, skate and other parks, a youth and community center, a mediation program, a part-time economic development advocate, and energy efficiency program, a cable channel and greenspace preservation funds. By comparison, New Lebanon has its own schools and police force without local dispatch, and city parks, but none of the other amenities Yellow Springs offers. Germantown has a pool and park system, a senior center and police force without local dispatch, while Cedarville offers local schools, a police force without local dispatch, and a park system.

See more details on this story in the print edition of this week’s News.


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