Thursday, June 24, 2004

Lebanon tax increase may be on November ballot



By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

LEBANON - Residents of this Warren County seat could see a tax-increase proposal on the November ballot.

A citizens committee, commissioned by council in early spring to look at the city's budget, made the recommendation Tuesday night. Council members will decide how to proceed.

Bill Kaufman, chair of the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee, said the city's fiscal problems stem from money spent on unbudgeted items in past years.

"We believe essentially that the general fund at the end of the year should have a balance of over $3 million in it," he said. Projections show at the end of 2004 the city will have a 43-day cash reserve of $883,000.

The seven-member committee proposed immediate removal of the 1 percent income-tax credit for taxes paid to other municipalities, to be followed by a November vote to raise the city income tax from 1 percent to 1.25 percent. That would be followed by restoration of the 1 percent tax credit if it passes.

Resident Charleen Flick is against a reduced credit for residents who pay taxes to other municipalities. Flick is retired from her position in city administration in Centerville.

"It's making the residents pay for the sins of the past 21/2 years of council," she said.

Council also appropriated $1.4 million for Fire Station 42 at Nelson and Lebanon roads at Ohio 48.

This will be the city's second fire station and is expected to shorten response times in the southern part of the city by seven minutes.

Construction will begin in August and be complete in May 2005.




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