Validity of Blan’s earnings tax ordinance addressed


BLANCHESTER — Prior to Tuesday’s general election, Blanchester Mayor John Carman released a statement regarding the validity of the village’s earnings tax ordinance. A citizens’ referendum to repeal the ordinance failed Tuesday with 650 (55.27%) voting against and 526 (44.73%) voting for it, according to unofficial results from the Clinton County Board of Elections.

On Monday evening, the Blanchester mayor posted a statement on the Village of Blanchester’s Facebook page addressing the ordinance enacted in May. Carman told the News Journal the concern from some citizens was regarding the number of votes from council members enacting the ordinance.

At the May 25 meeting, three council members (Harry Brumbaugh, Reilly Hopkins, and Don Gephart) voted to approve it while then-council member Tyler McCollister voted against it. Council members Bill Garner and Joshua Parks were not present at the meeting.

“Accordingly, the Village has conducted further research including, but not limited to, contacting the Clinton County Board of Elections and the Clinton County Prosecutor’s office about those questions,” Carman’s statement said.

It further states the referendum will remain on the Nov. 7 ballot and that the village “intends to take no further action until after the results” of the election.

Carman had no further comment for the News Journal.

The 1% annual tax levy would be used to provide “additional necessary funding for the Village of Blanchester Police Department” and would levy “an annual municipal income tax on income, qualifying wages, commissions and other compensations, and on net profits as hereinafter provided.”

The ordinance went into effect on Aug. 1 and affects those residing in Blanchester or working in the village.

When asked about an unspecific executive session the council and Carman held on the validity of the ordinance, village solicitor James Barbiere told the News Journal via email “the discussion that occurred during Executive Session is subject to both Executive Session Privilege and Attorney-Client Privilege.” Barbiere provided no further comment.

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

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