WILMINGTON — A group of Wilmington residents has organized a committee that believes the passage of Wilmington City Council’s proposed 0.5 percent temporary municipal income tax increase in November “is necessary for the quality of life residents have come to expect in a community once ranked as one of the best small towns in America.”
Tyler Williams has taken a leadership position as co-chairman of the Campaign for Wilmington’s Future. Dana Dunn is assisting as co-chairman and Scott Holmer is treasurer.
“Our team will be encouraging passage of the temporary municipal income tax on the ballot November 8 for the City of Wilmington, while also encouraging our elected officials to pursue a spending plan that will focus on infrastructure and safety,” Williams stated in a press release.
Committee members include Molly Dullea, Josh Engel, Nick Eveland, Karli Harris, David Hockaday, Bob Holmes, Josh McGee, Mark Rembert, Bruce Saunders, Kevin Snarr and Sam Stratman.
“In the past decade, Wilmington and the surrounding areas were hit by an historic loss of jobs,” Williams said. “As a result, Wilmington’s tax base has been cut in half, resulting in the city operating on supplemental funds for the past six years, despite cuts throughout the city government.”
The committee “understands that the city is in dire financial straits despite efforts to cut costs, including eliminating positions, hiring and pay freezes, and department consolidation,” according to the release. “The group also notes that the State of Ohio has balanced its budget in part by making significant cuts to local governments like Wilmington.”
The group points out that, if approved, the new 1.5 percent earnings tax will be in line with almost all Ohio cities and the county seats of neighboring counties. Many nearby communities have existing taxes higher than Wilmington. Hillsboro has been at 1.5 percent for years. WCH is at 1.95 percent and Xenia is at 2.25 percent.
The tax is temporary and will not impact retirement earnings.
“Only those earning incomes within the city of Wilmington will pay the tax,” Dunn said. “Retired seniors will not be impacted in the pocketbook but its passage is significant for their quality of life and that of their children and grandchildren who live in Wilmington.”
The committee stated that “an estimated 79 percent of the tax will be paid by people who don’t live in Wilmington but who work here and benefit from the services that the city provides to employers, including fire and police protection, snow removal, transit services, street repair and water and sewage services.”
The group added that the largest beneficiary of the increased revenue will be the Wilmington Police Department and the Wilmington Fire Department— safety service providers that are so important to residents and visitors.
Additional revenues will be invested to maintain streets and enforce building codes to prevent derelict properties from destroying investments made by homeowners and businesses.
“Wilmington has always been a place where we don’t back down,” Williams said. “Wilmington has fought to stay strong and stay afloat and the city needs our help to survive. A yes vote on November 8 will temporarily raise taxes on earned income only to keep our safety services strong and effective and start addressing some infrastructure needs.
Those interested in joining the committee can contact any member. Monetary donations can be made to the Campaign for Wilmington’s Future, 520 N. Walnut St., Wilmington, OH 45177.
More information about the campaign can be found at www.forwilmingtonsfuture.com. Online donation and social media sites are under development.