Passing tax is ‘critical,’ says Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk


SABINA — The village’s mayor said it’s “absolutely critical” voters approve the proposed additional earnings tax, and he is willing to speak at any opportunity to try to get it passed.

Mayor Dean Hawk made his comments at Wednesday’s Finance Committee meeting. He said the feedback he’s heard to the proposed supplemental 0.5 percent earnings tax includes letting the county sheriff’s department provide law enforcement to the town.

However, the village would still have to pay for those services by contracting with the sheriff’s office, and residents would not receive the same coverage they currently get from their on-site police department, said the mayor.

Even if the electorate supports the five-year additional earnings tax at the ballot box, Hawk said most of the tax’s revenue would not come to the village until 2018 because of year-end filing for people.

Sabina Fiscal Officer Nancy L. Cornell agreed the village wouldn’t see much of the revenue from the additional tax before 2018. She said exceptions to the year-end filers are “quarterly filers and maybe some of the businesses.”

The added 0.5 percent tax, if approved, is estimated to generate about $130,000 to $135,000 annually for the General Fund, Hawk said in June. From 2011 through 2015, the village operated at an average loss of $132,435, the mayor has said.

Cornell on Wednesday said she thinks the village can squeeze through in terms of meeting payroll through the remainder of this year. Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear to her there will be start-up funds to pay the bills when the new year of 2017 rings in.

To address the concern about start-up money and the delay in collecting the bulk of the revenue from the supplemental earnings tax even if it passes, the Sabina law director will ask Clinton County Common Pleas Court to approve a $200,000 transfer from the village’s Sewer Fund to its General Fund, as previously reported.

Cornell said, “I’m just trying to keep the expenses in line to try and get this year finished out. And I think we can sneak in there, but we really need that [Sewer Fund transfer] money to start up if they’ll [Ohio tax commissioner and a local judge] let us have it.”

Hawk followed up, “I’m sure hoping they’ll let us have it because I don’t know how we’ll get by at all next year.”

At the end of last year, the village had about $26,000 carrying over into this year, said Cornell.

As he has before, the mayor on Wednesday offered to pay out of his own pocket for hot dogs and buns for block parties or neighborhood gatherings — opportunities for him to talk about the Sabina earnings tax question that will be decided by the November ballots.

The proposed earnings tax would make the town’s total earnings tax total 1.5 percent, as there is a 1 percent earnings tax presently in place.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk is in favor of a proposed five-year, additional 0.5 percent earnings tax in the village. Mayor Dean Hawk is in favor of a proposed five-year, additional 0.5 percent earnings tax in the village.

By Gary Huffenberger

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