Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016
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Ballot question would combine 2 income taxes

Waterville voters will decide on May 2 whether to combine the village s two income taxes into one permanent income tax.

The village has a 1.5 percent permanent income tax and a 0.5 percent five-year income tax.

The 0.5 percent tax, renewed four times since it was first passed in 1982, is scheduled to expire at the end of 2007.

The 1.5 percent permanent tax has been in place since 1970.

Combining the taxes into one 2 percent income tax wouldn t increase the percentage that residents are asked to pay or bring in any more revenue.

Waterville officials decided to ask for the extra 0.5 percent tax to be made permanent so they know they could count on it in the future.

During discussions of the village s finances earlier this year, councilmen and members of the village s finance committee expressed concerns that voters might not renew the tax.

The income taxes fund the village s operating expenses and capital improvement projects.

Even with the tax, the village s five-year plan for capital improvements is not fully funded.

Council had also discussed reducing the tax credit for residents who work in other municipalities but discovered that about half of the residents of the village work in the village or in a township with no income tax.

That means adjusting the credit would not bring in as much revenue as the 0.5 percent income tax.

The village s 2006 budget, which council approved in December, includes an estimated $8.4 million in expenditures and about $8.3 million in revenues.

The difference can be made up by drawing on a balance of more than $3 million that is mostly in the capital improvement fund.

Council voted in February to put the tax on the ballot, after village officials discussed a variety of ways to raise revenue or reduce expenses.

Possibilities include assessing residents for shade trees in the rights of way or for streetlights, a levy for refuse pickup, or reducing the amount of road salt it uses.

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