WEST LAFAYETTE Members of village council are encouraging West Lafayette citizens to vote for the income tax issue that will be presented on the Nov. 8 ballot. The income tax is for street improvement.
Mayor Jack Patterson said the vote would not increase the individuals property taxes and would only tax earned income for residents residing in the village.
Pending the passing of this issue, the ordinance would provide one half percent levy on income for maintenance, repair, replacement, and improvements of the streets, alley ways, sidewalks, and curbs within the village. If the income tax is passed, the village could only utilize those funds for maintenance, repair, replacement of the streets, alley ways, sidewalks and curbs. No other uses would be permitted per law. The village would develop a specific account to track receipts and expenditures of the funds generated by this specific tax.
According to information by council, if the tax issue fails, the village streets would continue to deteriorate. The village could not apply for any grants due to lack of matching funds that would be required by the grant application guidelines. The combination of decreased revenue and increased costs over the past several years are reasons why the village is now turning to its citizens for help. The village has reduced street department employees by 40 percent over the past several years and made cuts in other operating costs as they have been able. The majority of revenue for the street department is generated from local government funds from the state which includes gasoline and license plate taxes.
The revenue in these areas has declined as well, while costs of maintaining the streets continues to increase each year. An example is the engineers cost to repair Russell Avenue last year which was over $150,000.
Current tax rates for surrounding areas are already higher than West Lafayette. Coshocton is at 1.5%, and Newcomerstown is at 2 percent.
Other business conducted by village council at the Oct. 24 regular session included:
Flags will be flown at half mast until the interment of Chief Petty Officer Raymond Border, who was fatally injured on Oct. 19 during his tour of duty in Paktiku, Afghanistan. A moment of silence for Border was also observed by council at its meeting.
Jeff Wherley, director for Coshocton County Litter Prevention and Recycling program, provided an update on the recycling option for West Lafayette.
He said with Fresno residents now participating there has been a gradual increase seen in recycling. Warsaw and West Lafayette continue to remain the two leading villages that have the highest amounts of recyclable materials. Wherley said the recycling program will continue and no changes noted at this point.
The program is asking residents to continue sorting plastics by number indicated on the bottom. Cardboard boxes should be flattened.
Councils next meeting is Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.