February 13, 2016

Mostly cloudy with flurries

Elyria takes steps to put tax renewal on November ballot

ELYRIA — City officials took the first steps Monday toward placing a 0.5 percent income tax renewal issue on the upcoming November ballot.

By passing two ordinances saying they intend to go to the electorate in the near future and support efforts to pass the issue, City Council members are beginning the process OF starting a campaign geared toward educating voters on the issue. Every five years, city officials must have residents pass a ballot issue so the city can continue to collect 0.5 percent of the total 1.75 percent income tax rate. It does not increase the amount of money taxpayers pay, but must be voted on before it expires to ensure collection can continue.

The temporary tax accounts for roughly $6 million in yearly revenue for the city.

“We just need to do this before we can go on the ballot and I wanted to start now before Council goes into its summer schedule,” said Law Director Scott Serazin.

Mayor Holly Brinda said the one is the most important issue facing the city this year. If it fails, the city finance director would have to reduce next year’s expected revenue by millions and a second vote could not happen until November 2014.

“This will help us,” Brinda told Council members after the unanimous passage. “I think an ordinance of support will put us in a much better position to rally volunteers for the campaign, by showing a united front between Council and the administration.”

The November general election is set for Nov. 5. So far, the income tax renewal is the only city issue to appear on the ballot. City officials have until Aug. 7 to certify to the Lorain County Board of Elections that it plans to place an issue on the ballot.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

About Lisa Roberson

Lisa Roberson has been with the Chronicle since 2006, and covers Elyria city government and public education. She can be reached at 329-7121 or LRoberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter.