Cridersville voters asked to hike income tax to aid police force

By J Swygart -

CRIDERSVILLE — Voters in the village of Cridersville will decide the fate of a proposed increase in the village’s income tax during the May 4 election.

During a special meeting Tuesday, councilors voted to adopt a resolution to raise the village income tax from 1% to 1.5% to fund the village police department. The proposed increase, if approved would raise approximately $180,000 annually.

“We are proposing this one-half percent increase in the income tax to provide needed funding to maintain support of our police department,” Mayor Rick Walls said. “Our current 1% income tax was enacted in 2004 and has not increased in 16 years.”

The police department is entirely funded by the village’s General Fund. During the past 10 years, the general fund tax income has declined by more than $800,000, Walls said. He said the elimination of the Ohio Inheritance Tax in 2015 was a factor behind the reduction.

“To maintain the effective operation of our police department, additional revenue is required. The additional one-half percent income tax will generate about $180,000 per year. It will go into the general fund and — as specified in the ballot language – can only be used for the operation of the police department,” the mayor said.

The village currently employs a chief of police, three full-time officers and five part-time officers. Without additional revenue, the village will be forced to make cuts in staff and coverage, Walls said.

A local citizens committee, Keep Our Police Strong, has been formed to promote public understanding of the funding challenges facing the police department and encourage voter support for the levy. Greg Myers is serving as the chairman.

By J Swygart

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