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Tax reciprocity change voted down By Beth Church
Rossford City Council overwhelmingly defeated a proposal on Monday to reduce the tax reciprocity credit for residents who work outside the city.
The ordinance failed by a vote of 1-6 with only Councilman Robert Ruse voting in favor of the change.
It would have reduced the credit from 100 to 75 percent for the next four years, and in the fifth year reduce it from 75 to 50 percent.
A 50 percent credit provides about $750,000 additional income tax revenue, and a 25 percent credit provides $375,000, which council was looking to use for street improvements.
About 2,100 Rossford residents who work outside the city have historically received a 100 percent credit for the income taxes they pay to other communities.
Rossford voters turned down a similar measure last November to reduce the income tax credit from 100 percent to 50 percent for residents who work outside the city.
Council had approved that proposal, but a citizens’ referendum placed the issue on the ballot where it was defeated.
Councilman Greg Marquette thanked Mr. Ruse for his attempt to be creative in proposing one option to fund road projects.
“Thank you for having the guts to put that up,” he said.
Although Mr. Marquette opposes the option, he said council needs to consider a variety of ways to find revenue for the $20 million of needed road work.
Councilman Marquette also criticized the citizens who “trash” council members on social media sites when elected officials are sincerely trying to solve problems.
Councilman Ruse said he will concentrate on proceeding with the five-year plan for street improvements, which calls for the Eagle Point Colony neighborhood to be addressed next.
“We’ve got the funding here,” he noted, adding that designs could move forward this year for Colony street projects.
Council scheduled a committee-of-the-whole meeting for 5:30 p.m., Monday July 10, prior to their next regular meeting, to continue discussing road funding.
In other business, council:
•Approved an adjustment to the 2017 city budget to add $5,000 to the marina account.
Finance Director Karen Freeman explained that the marina has encountered some “unusual expenses,” including repairs to a golf cart used by marina guards.
Councilman Jerry Staczek, who chairs the marina committee, noted that 30 docks at the marina are currently vacant.
“That’s twice as many as last year at this time,” he said.
Many boat clubs along the Maumee River have been promoting their facilities, he added, suggesting that better restroom facilities would be an asset to the city marina.
•Heard from Law Director Kevin Heban that he has made an offer to purchase the former nuisance property at the corner of Superior Street and Glenwood Road.
Council had authorized him to try to buy the property for possible use as a parking lot.
The city would accept the land in exchange for waiving the assessed cost of demolishing the dilapidated, vacant house that recently stood there.
The parcel has had four owners in recent years–most recently, Kaja Holdings 2 LLC of Columbia, South Carolina.
Mr. Heban said he has not received a response to his offer, but the company recently changed realtors.
The next regular council meeting will be at 7 p.m., Monday, July 10, at the municipal building, 133 Osborn Street, and is open to the public.
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