BLANCHESTER — Village officials are looking at an income tax levy to help their police department
At Thursday’s Blanchester Village Council, the members performed the first reading of an ordinance on a 1-percent income tax that would go into effect on January 1.
According to Mayor John Carman, this would be levied on those who live and work in Blanchester with the purpose of helping fund the Blanchester Police Department.
“Given where we are with the cemetery and the need to fund that now; and also possibly the budget will need more considering how (Chief Robert Houghton is) hiring more officers; I foresee that next year his budget is going to be increased. So now we’ve got to figure out how do fund that,” said Carman.
He said the village “always held back” on the police because of funding issues and “maybe sometimes we’ve kind of cuffed them from being able to do their job.” Carman cited drugs and “all the things going on in the world” he wants to make sure they have the budget to do what the department can.
Much as with previous attempts with voters to pass such a tax, the ordinance would not affect senior citizens, those on Social Security, people paying an income tax elsewhere, or those on unemployment benefits.
Carman pointed out the ordinance was similar to a previous one that they attempted to pass.
“I think (the previous levy) failed because people wanted more discussions,” he said.
Some officials and local residents had expressed concern with the tax being approved by council instead of putting it on a ballot. Carman said they tried the ballot way 12 times and each time it failed.
He also pointed out that Blanchester is one of the only entities in the county does not have an earnings tax like this; he cited Wilmington’s earnings tax and the recent one passed in Sabina.
No further action was taken. Carman advised that a representative from RITA will be attending the next meeting to discuss the proposed tax and answer any questions.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574