A resolution supporting a 0.75 percent village income tax increase was approved Sept. 18 by the Wellington board of education.
“What’s good for the village is good for us and good for everybody,” said board member Ayers Ratliff.
“The better we do the better you do and vice versa,” mayor Hans Schneider told the school board prior to the vote. “Social Security will not be affected by the tax increase… I know that question has come up for me a couple of times. People hear ‘tax increase’ and all of the sudden it’s doom and gloom. Everybody’s wallets are getting tight, especially with the property tax increases. We know that.”
The plan would raise the village income tax rate to 1.75 percent but also enact an equal tax credit for those who live in Wellington but work and pay taxes in another community.
For a Wellington resident making $50,000 per year and working elsewhere, the plan actually amounts to a yearly tax savings of $125.
Wellington has operated under a one percent income tax rate since 1972. Voters soundly rejected a proposed .50 percent increase in 2004.
Oberlin institutes a 2.5 percent rate and an equal tax credit for those who work elsewhere. Both LaGrange and Grafton come in at 1.5 percent and offer identical tax credits.
Village manager Steve Dupee answered questions from the board regarding spending plans for revenue from the tax plan, which if passed would raise $723,000 to $773,000 per year.
Current annual revenue sits at roughly $1.8 million, with $465,156 from individuals, $1.1 million in withholding, and $183,187 net business profit making up that amount.
“We’re talking about infrastructure, capital improvements, and no longer using our capital improvement fund to cover general fund deficits,” Dupee said. “It’s about maintaining the level of service that our community has enjoyed and become accustomed to. We’re also looking to relocate our police department, as their current space is very limited.”
General fund deficits of $336,044 in 2019, $402,676 in 2020, $471,873 in 2021, and $543,717 in 2022 have been projected if voters don’t approve the tax plan.
The 2018 general fund budget required a 77 percent reduction in tax proceed transfers to the capital improvement fund in order to avoid a $271,896 deficit.
When the general fund balance fell to $229,271 in 2013, a measure was passed the following year that sent 5.5 percent of each village utility’s annual revenue to the general fund.
School board member Brett Murner agreed on the need for a new police station and said the current one adjacent to village hall has been outdated for decades.
The village has expressed interest in purchasing a 4,900-square-foot plaza located at 147 and 149 East Herrick Ave., with purchase and renovation costs totaling roughly $1.5 million.
A 1,700-square-foot expansion at the site would add up to a dramatic increase from the 1,067 square-feet that’s currently available for Wellington officers.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.