|Income tax increase back on city council agenda|
|Monday, December 02, 2013 9:00 PM|
BY NANCY SPENCER
DELPHOS — A .25-percent income tax increase proposal made its way back on the Delphos City Council agenda Monday. Sponsored by Finance Committee Chair Joe Martz, the resolution will again ask Delphos residents within the city limits to OK the issue on the May 6 Primary Election ballot.
“I’m proposing this again because I feel residents may now have a better idea of what is at stake if we don’t see an increase in revenue,” Martz said.
The issue will read:
“Shall the ordinance providing for one-quarter percent (.25%) increase in taxation, from one and one-half percent (1.5%) to one and three-quarters percent (1.75%) per annum, on income to provide funds for general purposes, said levy commencing on January 1, 2015, and continuing thereafter until repealed in accordance with the law, be passed?”
The measure generates approximately $400,000 per year.
The city still faces $458,203 in deficit spending for the 2014 budget. That has been whittled down from $1,120,000 with staff reductions, including two firefighters, a custodian and two maintenance personnel; reduced operating costs from the loss of Reser’s Fine Foods; retirements and resignations in 2013 that were not filled; a three-hour furlough for all personnel except firefighters and police and a 7.5-percent reduction in department head salaries; a 25-percent reduction in elected official pay; and a 50-percent split on a healthcare premium increase, totalling $661,797.
Cost-saving measures still being looked at include the reduction of three part-time recreation staff members and contracting with Allen County for police, fire and rescue dispatching.
Additional revenue increase proposals include a one-half percent income tax reciprocity reduction ($360,000); a 5-percent water and sewer rate increase ($194,192); a one-quarter percent income tax reciprocity reduction and a 2.5-percent water and sewer rate increase ($187,096); or a 7-percent resident/3.5-percent industrial water and sewer rate increase ($266,724).
Community Improvement Corporation President Dave Roach outlined what his group has been doing.
“We have helped several businesses in Delphos settle some land problems as well as the city for the Gressel Drive Water Loop Project,” Roach said.
Roach said his group has also received updates from Van Wert County Economic Development Director Cindy Leis and Allen County Economic Development Director Jeff Sprague.
“A website to list all the currently available,” he said. “I’ve also met with the existing industry in town to see what they think we should be doing and I’ll just say they were optimistic.”
Roach added his group is looking to pick up options on land.
“We need a minimum of 80 acres to be attractive to an industry,” Roach said. “And we’re all looking at the super site in Van Wert hoping that gets filled. That would help Delphos tremendously.”
Resident Tim Honigford also addressed council urging some type of action to fix the budgetary problems.
“We have seen you hold meeting after meeting and still nothing is done,” Honigford said. “We need to see some action from council.”
The Finance Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, with a meeting of the Safety Service Committee to follow to discuss changes to dispatching.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, December 03, 2013 9:30 PM|