West Carrollton income tax issue going before city council

West Carrollton City Council is considering in May asking voters to approve a continuing income tax hike. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

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West Carrollton City Council is considering in May asking voters to approve a continuing income tax hike. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Measures to maintain a voter-approved temporary income tax hike is expected to be voted on tonight by West Carrollton City Council.

Council is set to address a proposal to put a 0.25 percent continuing income tax increase on the May ballot, a move city administrators say is needed in the face of state action cutting local funding and inviting projected budget deficits.

Asking voters to make "permanent" the city's 2.25 percent income tax that residents approved on a five-year basis in 2013 would not mean any new taxes, said West Carrollton Finance Director Tom Reilly.

Mayor Jeff Sanner said he expects council to approve the measure tonight.

“I think we will. We won’t know until the vote is taken,” he said. “But it’s not an increase.”

The deadline to file for issues to be placed on the May 2 ballot is Feb. 1, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

If approved by voters, the issue would help West Carrollton provide basic services in the coming years, according to City Manager Brad Townsend.

West Carrollton has lost more than $1 million annually in funding due to state action and previously considered a ballot issue. In recent years the city has eliminated its safety dispatch system and contracted those services with Centerville.

The .25 percent tax hike generates about $600,000 annually for the general fund, Reilly said. It would help soften the blow of lost revenue streams, according to the city.

Ohio’s House Bill 5, passed in 2015, has already cost the city about $100,000. When fully implemented, it will reduce city revenue by about $400,000 annually, according to the city.

HB 69 put guidelines on cities’ red-light cameras that did not make it cost effective to operate West Carrollton’s program, Townsend has said, removing another $125,000 of revenue from the city.

Other state funding reductions include the elimination of the estate tax, public utility tax reimbursements, and tangible personal property tax reimbursements, according to the city.

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