If you reside in the Village of Newcomerstown and you haven't paid your city/village taxes for this year or previous years, you may want to make a serious effort to get them paid.
The April 18 council meeting brought discussion on the delinquent taxes that are still out there and needing to be paid to the village. According to fiscal officer Kim Meek, the village sent out letters last November to the residents that still owed on their previous year's taxes. Meek said the letters did generate some responses in December/January but said an estimated amount of $80,000 to $90,000 still remains unpaid.
According to Meek, some residents believe that paying small amounts on their outstanding taxes, such as $5 per month will keep them from receiving any type of action from the village. Meek said her concern is even though the individuals are attempting to pay something, the taxes are continuing to accrue each year, thus creating an even higher amount of outstanding tax debt for the individuals. This year's tax deadline in April now brings fourth the question of how much more delinquent taxes will be added to the delinquent tax list.
Council members discussed the seriousness of the issue last Monday and feel that further steps are going to be necessary to get residents to make a concerted effort to bring their taxes up to date. One suggestion was to enforce a late charge each month. According to the current village tax ordinance, late charges could or possibly may be enforced but council said that has never occurred.
Council agreed to continue discussion on the matter and hope to develop a more effective plan to help retrieve the money that is still out there. Village Solicitor Robert Stephenson will also be looking into the matter further.
Other business discussed included:
* Councilmember Burris Gardner reported to council that the village water and sewer employees recently inquired on the impact of the approved discontinuation of the insurance plan for village employees that occurred earlier this year. According to council, the impact has been favorable and has saved the village money thus far. Actual data on the amount that has saved is not known at this time according to Meek.
* First reading was given for the Tuscarawas County Tax Incentive Review.
* Second reading was given on the updated village employee sick leave ordinance.
* Council approved payment of $1,484.20 to Northpointe Engineering for ground water testing at the former landfill site.
* Local residents Vickie Bricker and Bill Smith gave comments on their concerns of no street lights, no fire hydrants, no sidewalks on the very north end of College Street and Stonecreek Road that is located inside the village corporation limit.
"We are village tax payers and would like to receive some of the benefits other village residents have," Bricker said.
Bricker voiced concern if a fire occurred at her residence there would be inadequate waterline access.
Bricker was referred to Board of Public Affairs concerning the fire hydrant issue and given a date for the next BPA meeting. Bricker was informed the street light and sidewalk issue could be addressed with the Street Committee.
* Motion was later made by councilmember Earl McCormick to go into an executive session to discuss personnel, wages and compensation. No action to be taken at this time.
Council's next meeting will be May 2 at 7 p.m. at the David Barber Civic Center.