Mayor Carman: Village seeks tax with lower percentage, many benefits for Blanchester

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — With a decreased percentage from the last attempt, Blanchester Mayor John Carman hopes the latest income tax on the village’s ballot gets voters’ approval.

If the 0.5-percent income tax passes Nov. 6, it would go into effect Jan. 1, 2019 for five years. the money would go to Blanchester’s general fund, its budget, to help the police department, and to fund street repairs.

There are about eight streets that need repairs, according to Carman.

Carman advised that this levy is exactly the same as the one that appeared on the November ballot last year, except for the percentage — last year’s was 1 percent.

And much like with the last levy, there are some residents who wouldn’t have to pay, including residents on Social Security, fixed income, disability, VA benefits, and those who live in the village but work outside of it.

It would also last for five years and be up for approval again if approved on this year’s ballot. The one from last year that failed was set for renewal after seven years.

According to Carman, the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) stated it takes three years for a municipality or village to see the full benefit.

“We figured if it takes three years to get the full benefit, that only gives us two years to actually show the village what we can do with the money. A longer period would give us more time, but two years would be sufficient,” he said.

He hopes that reducing to a half-percent, from 1 percent, will get local residents to consider it.

“That seems to be what a lot of feedback we get from our community is,” he said. “Why go for a full one percent, why not start with something small,” he said.

He hopes residents will understand that the goal is to stop spending surplus funds to run the village.

“We’d like to have funds so we can operate and do improvements,” he said.

The previously proposed 1 percent income tax was turned down with 65 percent against, 35 percent for.

If the previous one had passed, Blanchester would have hired a Village Administrator and disbanded the Board of Trustees.

Carman told the News Journal that idea hasn’t been completely forgotten.

“In other villages, townships, and cities, they have this person who runs the day-to-day and oversees and manages, and can be on the job full-time,” he said. “Whereas I’m a part-time mayor, I have to work outside of the office. I’m here at night but there’s not a lot going on as far as with the community at night. It makes it difficult.

”So, a Village Manager or Administrator would make things easier with overseeing the day-to-day operations,” he said.

“We’re hopeful that people understand this is in the best interest for the village.”

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574