July 31, 2014

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North Ridgeville Council approves income tax increase on November ballot

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Residents will be asked to pay more in city income taxes for a new main fire station, capital projects and continuing city expenses.

City Council approved a motion to support an increase in the community’s 1 percent income tax to 1.85 percent that will appear on the November ballot.

Council will meet again in special session to formalize the tax increase after further financial figures are provided.

The measure must be submitted to the County Board of Elections by Aug. 5 to appear on the November ballot.

The tax hike resolution was approved during a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting following Monday’s regular council meeting.

The city receives about $9 million a year from its 1 percent income tax.

Councilman Terry Keenan, R-1st Ward, who sits on council’s Utilities Committee, said it was imperative council roll the roughly $6 million relocated main fire station project into the tax hike as a means of selling it to the community.

During the 90-minute special session, council members weighed in on the merits of an income tax hike versus a property tax increase.

In the end, they decided to go for an income tax increase, while returning the same $8 million bond issue to widen Center Ridge and Lear-Nagle roads to the fall ballot that was rejected by a slim 145-vote margin in May.

That measure would have cost owners of a $100,000 home an additional $30.10 a year in property taxes to cover the city’s share of the $67 million cost of widening and improving both roads.

Councilman Dennis Boose, D-2nd Ward, said that the city shouldn’t put too many money issues before voters at one time “because my fear is that people would choose between them.”

Mayor David Gillock — who supported an income tax increase and returning the road widening bond issue before voters — pointed out the risks of waiting to put an income tax on the ballot until 2015.

“We’ll have three levies up for renewal next year,” Gillock said, including issues that fund the police, fire and streets departments.

“You don’t want to endanger those.”

The current 1 percent income tax gives residents who work outside the city a .10 percent tax credit.

That credit would be increased as part of the tax hike request, but a specific amount for the revised credit has yet to be determined.

None of the income tax increase funds will go to sewer improvements, Keenan said.

Council voted unanimously during its regular meeting to impose a 3 percent increase in sewer rates to take effect Aug. 1.

Council also voted, in the same piece of legislation, to boost a monthly base charge paid by all residential, commercial and industrial sewer customers from $1.82 to $9.

That significant hike will be offset somewhat by a permanent $2.50 reduction in monthly residential trash collection fees, as well as an additional two-year fee reduction of $5.

Revenue generated from both will be used for improvements to the city’s sanitary sewer system to reduce future back-ups into homes from flooding caused by increased inflow and infiltration into sanitary sewer lines.

Specific upgrades are to include relining sanitary sewers, purchase of a new sewer vacuum truck to clean the system, and upgrades to 14 of the city’s sub-basins, said Council President Kevin Corcoran, R-at large.

Corcoran said those upgrades could include widening and/or deepening the sub-basins as well as needed repairs.

The new $9 base charge is expected to be permanent, Corcoran said, although the amount could be altered depending on future needs.

  • Fred Garvin

    Until the fear of flooding goes away, I will not vote for any increases to cover other improvements.

    • stillsleepyeyes

      Guess its going to be awhile……………………..

    • Spec440

      Good thinking. Let the rest of the city go to hell too. That should make it a lot easier to fix the flooding.

      • Fred Garvin

        You will never attract quality business growth in this city until some of these overlooked issues are finally dealt with.

    • shadow

      Tell these clowns you guys elected to have a bake sale.

  • John Q. Taxpayer

    Why do we need a new fire station? As long as the equipment is protected and the men have a bed to sleep in and a dry roof over their heads that is all they need. Do we really have to build a resort for these guys or are we trying to keep up with Avon. Ridgeville could have had all that Avon has but council drove everyone away. I’d rather see roads repaved first, the streets are falling apart everywhere and all council cares about is Center Ridge. Roads first!!!

  • shadow

    Oh my God. You people pay CITY income taxes? How does that work. What freaking bunch of idiots EVER let THAT get started. I was raised in NR and it’s gone way downhill. This is ridiculous. So you guys are paying FED, STATE, and CITY…..unbelievable.

    • Otter

      Yep, those of us with incomes pay taxes, just like everyone else.

  • John Q. Taxpayer

    Maybe Ridgetucky should build a big umbrella first then ask for more money