Our View: Village needs more money
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 6:49 AM
Ottawa village council has an ordinance on the table regarding the income tax for the village.
Currently, the village receives no income from residents working in another community with an income tax of one percent or higher. Those worker's income tax withholding go to the municipality of where they work.
Therefore, village council would like to ammend this by eliminating the tax credit that will require those residents who work outside of the village to pay one percent to the village of Ottawa.
According to the Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA) the village stands to gain $288,000 annually by eliminating the tax credit.
People who attended the last council meeting were upset because they did not have a say in this change. Those affected feel this matter should be put on a ballot. The Ohio Revised Code states the village council is the voice of the people and council can change the income tax ordinance in the manner Ottawa Village Council is proposing.
Village council representation is an elected position which means village residents voted for each council member. Members of village council takes their job seriously and has Ottawa residents best interest in mind when making any decisions.
Ottawa took a big hit when they lost the Phillips plant and another double hit during the floods of 2007 and 2008. Since that time council has seen cuts being made such as seven less village full time employees and six less part-time employees. Due to the economy a lot of people are doing the job of two or three people simply because their employer can not afford to hire additional help. Imagine if that job was one that affected an entire village. The water director and his employees for the village of Ottawa tells of the story of when the flood of 2007 hit he left home on Monday and did not return to his flooded home until five days later. He was out helping citizens of Ottawa.
Imagine if his job was cut or if his hours were restricted. It would cause problems with the village's water supply and residents would not have received the help his people offered during the flood.
The fact of the matter remains that village officials work hard to make Ottawa the safe, clean village it is. If employees were not doing their job the village would look it.
Ottawa is also taking a hit with state funding. If you look at the charts published in the Sentinel on December 15th you will see local government funding has done nothing but decrease. The same stands for interest on village investments.
If the village did nothing residents would see a decrease in snow removal services and the parks would not remain clean and kid friendly. Furthermore, the village would be out of money by 2015.
It does not matter if the village raises taxes or eliminates the tax credit, there will always be opposition but the fact remains the village needs more revenue to sustain the level of services being offered to residents.