West Unity Joins Fight Against Governor’s Attempt To Centralize Tax Collections

West Unity residents will get a little more cash from the village for sidewalk repairs.

The Village Council moved one step closer to allowing the Chief of Police to donate unclaimed items, approved the creation of a Water Pollution Control Loan Fund, supported a resolution opposing the governor’s budget. The actions occurred at the Feb. 9 meeting.

The council approved the third reading of Ordinance 2016-14, which amends Section 135.03(b)(2) of the Codified Ordinances increasing the reimbursement rate from $5 per lineal foot to $6. The money helps ease the financial burden on homeowners who are responsible for maintenance on the sidewalks along their property, Fiscal Officer Kim Grimes said.

Ordinance 2017-1 will allow the police chief to donate unclaimed items at the department to local nonprofits, such as a church.

Resolution 2-2017-4 will allow Administrator Joshua Fritsch to apply for, accept and enter a Water Pollution Control Loan Fund agreement on behalf of the village for planning, design, and/or construction of waste water facilities and designating a dedicated repayment source for the loan. The resolution was declared an emergency.

The resolution is required for the village to receive a $2.68 million principal loan forgiveness for the new plant, Grime said.

The council approved the hiring of new police officer Morgan Hughes and amended the pay range legislation for 2017 to accommodate her wages.

The resolution opposing the governor’s budget for 2017-18 focuses on the proposed centralized collection of net profit tax returns from the Municipal Income Tax. This is a desire on the governor’s part to hire a separate company to collect local income taxes and then charge the communities a 1 percent fee for doing so.

The resolution calls this an attempt by the governor to usurp the home-rule provisions in the state constitution. The resolution goes on to say any attempt by Kasich and the General Assembly to enact this legislation will face a vigorous legal challenge.

The resolution states villages can help residents with their taxes quicker and cheaper and more efficiently than the state.

In other matters, the council decided against selling the old office building on Jackson Street following an executive session over the lone sealed bid received.

James Pruitt may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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