Several citizens addressed New Carlisle City Council at their meeting Monday evening regarding Issue 4, the ballot issue to give city residents who work in other municipalities credit on their New Carlisle income taxes for taxes paid to other municipalities.
Matthew Mills spoke first, asking, “What do you guys have available today to go to bat for the citizens to try to get this to go away?”
Council Member Rick Lowrey responded stating that when New Carlisle was in fiscal watch, council passed a $5 license plate fee, and suggested that could be removed. “I’d love to see council bring that up if this passes,” he said. “It should have came off 5 or 6 years ago.”
“I know for a fact that person sat over there and said that when we come out of fiscal watch we’re going to remove it, and that’s never happened,” said Lowrey.
City Manager Randy Bridge said that the license plate fees go toward the street fund. “That would have a ripple effect on street repairs,” he said.
Bridge also brought up the fact that the city eliminated the franchise fee charged to Waste Management that also went for street repairs. When the franchise fee was active, it was passed along in the form of higher trash bills.
Bridge also strongly recommended that council members look at the street fund line item before making any motion to eliminate the license plate fee.
Rhonda Manemann suggested that council “offer something else” than just saying “vote no on issue 4.” She suggested making reciprocal agreements with other municipalities.
“We have nothing to offer,” said Mayor Mike Lowrey. He said that people who live in New Carlisle work in other communities, but very few people live in other communities and work here.
“There haven’t been any reciprocal agreements in Ohio since the 70’s,” said Bridge.
The city has scheduled a Town Hall Meeting for Tuesday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. at New Carlisle Elementary School so that residents can question city officials on the issue.
Council also passed an ordinance to use the Clark County Sheriff’s office for dispatching services for New Carlisle Fire and EMS. “This will save the city $10,000 to $16,000 annually and give us better service,” said Bridge.
Fire Chief Steve Trusty said that using the Sheriff’s office for fire dispatching will allow for better communication with deputies.
The contract with the Sheriff’s office is for calendar 2018. The city previously used the City of Springfield for fire dispatching services.