Petition with 94 names opposing possible income tax presented to Rogers Council

ROGERS – The names of 94 people unhappy with the idea a possible 1 percent income tax were presented on a petition to Village Council at its meeting last week.

Mayor Sharon Hebron said although the petition is not a legal document, it gives those trying to operate the village a better idea about what a large number of the village’s residents want. She points out at most elections only about 50 residents come out to vote.

The 2010 census listed the village’s population at 235.

In September, council had voted 3-1 on a first reading to pass a 1 percent income tax. However, at the time Fiscal Officer Dale Davis said council needed four favorable votes in order to pass the tax. Council, which gives ordinances three readings, took no action on the income tax proposal last week.

During the September meeting, council members Mike Hunt, Marilyn Locke and Jayne Balmenti voted in favor of the 1 percent income tax. Councilman Mark Gordon voted against it. Councilman Jerry Hoon was absent and the sixth seat was vacant.

Council voted at last week’s meeting to fill that seat, appointing Tom Chambers.

Hebron said she is concerned about the future of the village without the 1 percent income tax.

“We just want the village to remain as a village,” Hebron said, noting some people have approached her about allowing the village to dissolve into Middleton Township.

However, if that were to happen Hebron said she questions, for instance, if the street lights would be shut off. On a small budget of $68,000, the village provides street lights, a part-time street department, a community park and fire protection by contracting with the Negley Volunteer Fire Department, which maintains a fire station in Rogers.

The proposed tax is estimated to bring in $17,250 per year.