The Village of Monroeville has been operating on a bare-bones budget for the last five years. There has never been an increase in the income tax since it was established at one percent in 1986. Everyone has to agree that costs for services have escalated in the last 21 years.
Services to the Monroeville residents have been cut in many ways that are sometimes hard to see. Some of these services include; street paving: None has been done during the last two years because of lack of funds. Building maintenance: Only the absolutely necessary repairs have been made to the many buildings that the village owns and maintains. It is much more cost effective to maintain a building if you keep up with the minor repairs as needed. This can prevent major repairs in the future. Sanitary sewer maintenance: The only major sewer work that has been done is when evidence of a major problem exists. This was the case of the replacement of the Sandusky Street sanitary sewer last year. Matching grant money: To get a grant from the government, most grants require a matching or a percentage amount to be paid by the village. Monroeville does not have existing funds for most major grants. Storm sewers: Installation and maintenance of storm sewers has practically come to a halt because of lack of funds. These are a few reasons why an increase in the income tax is necessary. If the income tax levy fails, it means more cuts in services to the Monroeville residents, such as snow removal, yard waste pick-up, leaf pick-up in the fall, a cut in safety forces, and cuts in the recreation programs and park maintenance.
An alternative to the income tax increase would be to charge Monroeville residents for these services. There also could be special assessments to the property owners for street, sewers, and water line improvements. These special assessments would be added to the real estate taxes that the home owners now pay. If that would happen, many of our older retired residents would be forced to sell their homes, because they would not be financially able to pay the special assessments.
The increase in income tax would only affect you if you live in Monroeville and you are now paying one percent or less in income tax on earned income. If you live in Monroeville and work in another community and are now paying at least 1 1/2 percent income tax, the increase will not affect you. If you are not working and have no earned income, this proposed increase will not affect you. Village income tax is not paid on social security, retirement income, interest received, dividends, etc. which many of our residents now receive and are needed for their everyday living expenses.
Think it over. Monroeville needs more income to keep up with expenses and needed improvements. Vote yes for the income tax levy for Monroeville. If you have any questions about how it will affect you, bring your questions to a village council meeting or stop at the village office on Main Street.
Robert J. Simon, village councilman