Blanchester moves toward placing tax on ballot

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — An earnings tax may be heading for the ballot again.

During Thursday’s Blanchester Village Council meeting, many citizens objected to it being just voted on by council instead of being put on the ballot.

Councilmembers Chad Hollon and Reilly Hopkins objected to certain aspects of it. Hopkins objected to the tax not having a limit placed on it. Hollon objected to it being a 1-percent earnings tax — he believed it should a 0.5-percent earnings tax.

After council discussed it further, they agreed with Hollon and Hopkins and decided to put it on the ballot, give it a five-year limit and make it a 0.5-percent earnings tax.

A second reading for a 1-percent earnings tax with no limits was originally scheduled for Thursday’s Blanchester Village Council Meeting, but after the discussions with locals and councilmembers, that changed.

Before the change, Councilmember Don Gephart responded to concerns citizens had about why they possibly wanted to have it approved by council instead of putting it on the ballot. He mainly cited all the previous times it had been, the cash balance the city had at the time, and that they failed each time and by how much.

“The biggest problem we have is operating the village on such a limited income. Blanchester Council has been working on this and has continued to seek solutions for the problem,” he said. “We’re always looking for new ways to reduce expenses and raise income. Yet again, the earnings tax is needed more than ever,” said Gephart.

To meet the Aug. 8 deadline to get it on the Nov. 5, the council will have to hold three special council meetings to approve it, since council decided to not make it an emergency.

By John Hamilton