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WEST LIBERTY COUNCIL: Income tax passes final reading

West Liberty Village Council members are describing the 1 percent village income tax, which passed on third and final reading at Monday’s regular meeting, as a way for the town to remain self-sustaining.

• The 1 percent income tax should raise approximately $50,000 per year.

The village is receiving nearly $35,000 less than it did five years ago in state funding.

  It has been nearly 50 years since the village has introduced a new tax.

The income tax should raise approximately $50,000 annually, according to estimates provided to council. That money will stay in the village and be used exclusively to fund local expenses including street and building maintenance, council emphasizes.

Because the tax is not more than 1 percent it requires approval only by the council.

Village officials say the tax is necessary because of a dramatic decrease in local government funding in the last five years. In 2008, the village received $91,436 in state funding. Last year, it received $56,756.

The village is $98,000 short in its General Fund between budgeted revenues and expenditures for 2013. It has not tried to introduce a new tax in 50 years or more, council reports.

The tax is necessary to sustain police and fire services and to keep streetlights on, members said.

Recent cuts include two employees from the water/sewer and street departments and a reduction in trash collection to two days per week.

Council has also been forced to make required maintenance and repairs including installing a new roof on the village building, garage and library. Additional expenses have included a new police cruiser, and trucks for the water and street departments.    

The tax is effective July 1.

The next regular West Liberty Village Council meeting is May 13.

CORRECTION: The budget for the West Liberty water department is determined by the Board of Public Affairs, based on funds collected through water rates. The truck for the water department would have been purchased with these funds.

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