Thursday, January 30, 2003

Addyston asks earnings tax hike

Village voters rejected two earlier, lower requests

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ADDYSTON - Maybe the third time will be a charm for this west-side village in its attempt to pass an earnings tax increase.

The proposed increase has failed twice. Voters deadlocked on a 1 percentage-point increase proposal last August, then soundly defeated a 1.5 percentage point increase in November.

Residents will vote on a 1 percentage point increase next week. The increase would double the current 1 percent tax.

"If this fails we will have to cut back on a lot of services," Mayor Carol Kolb said.

She said the cuts probably would include garbage collection and emergency services.

"I am doing a lot of praying. I have no clue as to how the residents will vote this time," Kolb said.

The current 1 percent earnings tax generates about $390,000 from the village's 1,200 residents, said village tax commissioner John Calvert. He calculated that the 1 percent increase would generate a similar amount.

Calvert said the proposed tax increase took him by surprise.

"I had no idea this much was being planned. I don't know how this is going to go over with the voters who have just deadlocked on a 1 percent increase and defeated a 1.5 percent increase," Calvert said.

Kolb, who has been in office 23 years, said the garbage collection and emergency services are paid from the village general funds. She said the village operates on a budget of about $1.2 million.

"Generally we are pretty good out here with sidewalk cleaning, garbage collection, police and fire protection, and emergency services, but we really need the increase," Kolb said.

Former Addyston mayor Daniel Pillow had encouraging words for the tax increase.

"I think it may pass. This is an off-year election and a lot of the people who voted against it may not come out," Pillow said.

"The regular voters who come out in off-year elections may pass it."

Residents also will be asked to vote on a 2-mill tax levy for fire protection and emergency services.

Kolb said the levy would bring in $62,000 a year. Since the Village Council dissolved its fire department, the village has been getting emergency medical services from Miami Township and fire service from Cleves.

"We have had to pay for that out of the general funds, which is why we are in trouble," Kolb said. "The $62,000 will help pay for those services."


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