BLANCHESTER — The Village of Blanchester is making its seventh attempt at getting an earnings tax passed during the Nov. 7 election.
The one percent earnings tax would last for seven years and be used for the extension and enlargement of municipal services and facilities, capital improvements, maintenance, equipment, improvement of streets, the hiring of a village administrator, and general municipal operations.
Mayor John Carman, in the hopes of the measure passing, said that he and the village council have been taking a more active approach with it — instead of having a “wait and see attitude” like in the past — to make sure the citizens know what the tax is about.
“I think there has been a misconception that it’s going to affect everybody and everybody will pay for it,” said Carman.
According to him, people on Social Security, fixed income, disability, and VA benefits won’t have to pay. Those that work outside the village will be exempt. Also, religious, education and bonafide charitable organizations won’t be affected.
Another aspect that this tax would help, according to Carman, is making sure the Blanchester Police Department is fully available to the public.
He said that with Police Chief Scott Reinbolt’s current staff, “It’s very hard to maintain a caseload. You do have the patrolling, but they can’t really do the investigating when the crime takes place. It’s difficult for our police force to do this job. They do a good job with what they have but we want them to be able to do a better job to bring closure to these cases,” said Carman.
In regards to the hiring of a village administrator, Carman and council members want to make it clear that no one would lose their job, but it would mean the Board of Public Affairs would be dissolved.
“Regardless of that, you still have an electric department, you still have a water department and sewer department. So, you need employees to operate it,” said Carman. “What we’re saying is the Board gets dissolved, everything then runs through the Village Administrator and council.
“You still have your people doing their jobs now. The Administrator would be the head of all the departments.”
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574