If levy fails, council prepared to enact 1 percent income tax

WASHINGTONVILLE — Council passed a first reading of an ordinance that would enact a 1 percent income tax and bring the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) in to collect the money, during Monday’s meeting.

The issue needs three readings to become law and was passed with a 5-1 vote with Councilwoman Brenda Briden voting against it.

During the discussion, Briden noted “this includes no breaks for taxes paid elsewhere.”

When Chuck Hawk, the marketing director for the Regional Income Tax Agency, spoke to council on Oct. 16 about the tax, he said a tax credit could be implemented later.

Councilwoman Peggy Frank asked about tabling the ordinance until after today’s election and Davis said this was just a first reading.

“So we’ll look at it in two weeks,” Frank said, “depending on the election.”

Today, village residents will vote on a 2.5 mill operating levy, that, if approved, will generate $18,700 annually and amounts to $52.50 a year on a $60,000 house, or a dollar a week.

The levy is used for the daily operations in the village. If it fails, village council is expected to move forward with the one-percent personal income tax.

If the operational levy passes, the income tax proposal will be be discarded.

Briden said after the meeting that she wasn’t sure if she agreed with the one-percent tax, wanted more time to study it and added, “I think we need to see what the voters do.”

Fiscal Officer Dale Davis said the first reading “doesn’t lock you in … you can amend it, so if nothing passes on Tuesday you’re ahead.”

Last month, Davis said if the levy failed the village could hold three readings on the income tax and money would start being collected in 2018.

RITA expressed concern and wanted the legislation started now” instead of at the end of the year,” Davis said about putting it before council on Monday, and addd the ordinance also required landlords to provide yearly lists of their tenants.

“It’s put out there at one percent with no credit,” Davis explained, “but you as council can do what you want.”

Councilman Al Vignon said, “We have to get something.”

Mayor Herman Frank urged residents “to get out and vote tomorrow.”

In other business, Police Chief Ken Faust advised council more brake work will be needed on the cruisers and one is currently being checked at Steve’s Auto for either an alternator or battery problem.

“He should know something Tuesday or Wednesday,” Faust said.

In the monthly report, the police made 328 security checks, 29 public assists, issued 56 warnings and 45 citations, Faust said.

Frank thanked him for all the work the police chief did for the village including repairs and maintenance on the cruisers.

Street Supervisor Ed Garrett said two doors have been built for the salt bin.

“They were looking pretty bad,” he said and Frank suggested that after Sunday’s stormy weather, “You might want to check storm drains because of the leaves.”

Council will meet again in regular session at 7 p.m. Nov. 20.

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