City Manager Randy Bridge presented New Carlisle City Council with his proposed cuts to the City’s budget at the council’s meeting on Monday.
“The City of New Carlisle will face an approximate 60% ($984,000) reduction of General Fund Revenue if the income tax credit is approved by the voters in November,” Bridge began.
He said revenue to both the General Fund and the Police Levy would be affected, since they are both income tax based.
Resident Kelli Bartlett organized a petition drive to give New Carlisle residents credit on their city income taxes for income taxes paid to other governmental subdivisions. A sufficient number of signatures were presented to the Board of Elections, and they approved the proposal for the November ballot. The City tried to get the proposal off of the ballot, but was unsuccessful.
“Some people think that this is tax reciprocity, where income taxes are shared between governments,” said Bridge. “This is not true. There is no tax reciprocity in Ohio.”
As an example, if you work in Dayton, whose income tax rate is 2.25%, and live in New Carlisle, whose tax rate is 1.5%, you would get credit for all of your New Carlisle income taxes. Dayton would get 2.25% and New Carlisle would get 0%.
“You have no vote in Dayton as you don’t live there,” said Bridge.
Bridge identified these service reductions:
Reduction of office staff hours to 32 hours per week and reducing the City Hall’s public hours to 20 – 25 hours per week.
Discontinuation of free limb, brush and leaf pick-up.
Reduction of snow removal.
Reduction of grass cutting in parks, the cemetery and other public spaces.
Reduction in police protection.
Layoff and reduced hours for other City employees.
He said he will be sending a request to the City’s employees’ union to reopen contract negotiations.
Bridge was able to propose over $665,000 in cuts, leaving over $224,000 to be made up by General Fund reserves each year.
He said that the city’s reserves, that are being held for emergencies, would be depleted within a few years.
“There is no fluff in our budget,” said Bridge. “I expect the city to be in Fiscal Watch by the end of 2020.”
Bridge said that he and the City’s management have worked hard to bring the city to a better financial condition. “This will undo everything,” he said.
He asked council to schedule work sessions and town meetings as soon as possible to try to get the City operating in the black should the Tax Credit proposal pass in November.
Council set the first work session for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20.
Bridge said that Town Hall meetings should be scheduled before early voting starts on October 11. He suggested three meetings before October 11 and another three meetings before election day on November 7.
He also suggested that the city have a booth at the Heritage of Flight festival to speak directly to residents.
“Where is the pride in this town?” he asked. “Who in their right mind would think that [the tax credit proposal] is a good idea?”
He cited his hometown of Reading, Ohio as an example. “We had pride in our city. If the football team was 0-10, everyone still came to football games.”
“This will be absolutely devastating to our town,” said Bridge.
In other action, City Finance Director Colleen Harris announced that, “with 99.9% of the bills accounted for,” the pool generated a profit of $1,400. Last year, the pool lost over $4,000.”
“This is the first time in a long time that the pool has ended in the black,” she said. “No General Fund money was used for the pool.”
City Service Director Howard Kitko announced that tree trimming over roads and sidewalks has been completed, as has boom arm mowing along the bike path.
He said that the street projects in the city have started, and the bulk of the work will be done this weekend, weather permitting.
Kitko also stated that the Prentice Drive reconstruction is scheduled to be completed by mid-October.