Saturday, July 13, 2002

Lebanon voters to decide tax increase




By Steve Eder, seder@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Voters will decide Nov. 5 whether they will pay more income tax to the city.

        Council members approved ballot language this week to increase the tax from 1 percent to 1.5 percent. If approved, the city would take in an extra $2 million a year to pay for police patrols, parks and recreation, and improvements to storm-water sewers and streets.

        The increase would put the city on par with other localities in Warren County, officials said. Those who work outside the city and pay a tax of at least 1.5 percent elsewhere will receive a full tax credit.

        “The city needs money,” said council member Ron Pandorf. He said the city's cash reserves are drained, and urged voters to “go with the flow.” General expenses have outpaced income, council members said, causing council to dip into those reserves.

        “I don't like the idea” of increasing taxes, Mr. Pandorf said. “But we have certain responsibilities.”

        Revenues would be used to complete existing projects and maintain services as well as for contingency funds for an emergency, council said.

        Some Lebanon residents were skeptical of the proposed tax increase.

        “The city spends too much on vehicles,” said Jim Hammond. “They don't need that for a town this big.”

        He said the city often purchases the “best stuff money can buy.”

        Resident John “Jack” Quinn, an attorney, said he doubts city voters will support the increase.

        “They just voted for a substantial school bond,” he said. “It is highly unlikely they will want the additional burden.”

       



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