|Voters to decide on .25 percent income tax increase Tuesday|
|Thursday, October 31, 2013 8:27 PM|
BY NANCY SPENCER
DELPHOS — Topping the list on Tuesday’s General Election Ballot for Delphos voters is a .25-percent earned income tax increase for Delphos residents.
This is an earned income tax affecting wages, salaries,tips, compensation that is earned, bonuses, other incentives, net profit from businesses or professions and net profit from rentals. It also includes lottery winnings more than $200,000.
Exclusions include interest, dividends, active-duty pay from the Armed Forces, pensions, Social Security and capital gains.
If passed, the measure will take effect Jan. 1 and will generate approximately $400,000 for the General Fund to help minimize a more than $860,000 loss in the Water and Sewer funds that was left by the closure of Reser’s Fine Foods in September.
The city also lost $400,000 in utility fees when Chef Solutions filed bankruptcy in 2011 and $60,000 in income revenue when I&K Distributions was sold to Lipari Food. The city has also seen reductions in Local Governments Funds from the state. The city received $240,000 in LGF in 2008; in 2013, received only $79,000. The elimination of the Inheritance Tax cost the city $70,000 in funds.
The last time the city asked for new money was in 1989 when a .50-percent income tax increase was approved. The rate then went from 1 percent to 1.5 percent.
Historically, the city collects nearly $2.5 million in income tax with collections in 2011 at approximately $2,485,000 and $2,496,000 in 2012. Year-to-date for 2013, the city is down 1 percent on income tax collections.
Other measures the city has put in place to address the deficit spending issue include laying off three full-time firefighters and one full-time police officer in early October.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, the action also meant 30 part-paid firefighters and six auxiliary police officers were to be laid off. Negotiations with the firefighters’ union will allow the part-paid firefighters to stay on until the city learns if a Safe Grant from Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency comes through to bring the three full-time firefighters back with the their full salaries and benefits paid by the grant for two years.
EMS personnel were not affected.
The action leaves the police department with seven officers, two staff officers and three dispatchers.
The layoffs came quickly on the heels of three others in the service department in mid-October, a 3-hour furlough for city employees at the city building, in the maintenance department and at the water and wastewater plants. Hours in those offices were also cut three hours.
The furloughs will keep approximately $15,500 in the city coffers for this year’s budget and if continued, will save more than $60,000 in 2014. The reduction in hours affects 27 city employees.
Council also approved a 7 1/2-percent pay reduction for city administration and department heads.