By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer
INDEPENDENCE - After months of discussion, city officials will decide on Nov. 3 which, if any, of three controversial tax proposals to levy.
Independence officials have said a tax increase is necessary to cover a $610,826 shortfall and to ensure that police protection and street repairs keep pace with demands in one of Kentucky's fastest-growing cities.
A proposed 5 percent tax on homeowners and auto insurance is expected to generate $659,681 a year, the most of the three possible tax increases. Opponents, led by resident JoAnn Cobble, say the insurance tax would be a hardship on seniors and residents on fixed incomes.
Other options include raising the payroll tax rate on Jan. 1 from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent, which is expected to bring in $218,353 a year. A proposed $12-a-year auto tax would generate $154,055. With delinquencies, that number would be closer to $150,000, Kenton County Clerk Bill Aylor told Independence officials.
Council member Jim Bushong said all three are viable options, but he added he wants more information on "what would bring in what'' before casting a vote.
"I think everybody's going into this with an open mind,'' Bushong said. "I don't think anything's chiseled in granite.''
Council member Mary Pat Behler said she also wants more information before deciding, which, if any tax, to support.
"(Monday) night, we heard a lot from the residents,'' Behler said. "One of the things I haven't heard yet is feedback from employers. I'm interested in finding out which tax would be more palatable for them.
"When you look at all three options, none of them is perfect,'' she said.
"The only one I'm against is the insurance tax,'' said Council member Donna Yeager. "I think it's going to hurt a lot of parents with teenaged (drivers). It'll make it hard on seniors with low, fixed incomes. If we have to have a tax, I'd favor one of the other two or both.''
Main Street plan unites beer, Bootsy
Report slams sewer brass
Teens learn dangers of Butler roads
'Scrunci bandit' suspect arrested
IN THE TRISTATE
Law lets parents weigh in on rehirings
Building would alter Hyde Park Square
County weighs 2 levies
Rape claim investigated at Woodward
Workshop shows how to preserve open space
Bronson: Protect the unions, soak the city taxpayers again
Howard: Good Things Happening
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Driver of Mustang accused of kidnap try
School locked after bank robbed
Wall visit evokes 'Nam tales
Investors to try developing Wooster
No plan 'preferred,' officials say
Waynesville landlord, 73, faces drug peddling charge
Warren United Way director leaves drive before conclusion
Lebanon school levy backed
Guy Westmoreland, 60, was author and librarian
Feds wary of Davis-Besse's pump-fix plan
School funding appeal unheard
Man free on bond in boat wreck
Kentucky News Briefs
Jury in Lambert case needs more time
4 days in another's shoes
Independence mulls new taxes in face of $600K shortfall