POMEROY — Local businessman Horace Karr addressed the Meigs County Commissioners during Thursday’s meeting concerning the proposed sales tax increase.
Karr presented the Commissioners with several ideas on how to offset the need for the tax increase.
The commissioners have hosted two public meetings over the past two weeks to hear concerns of residents and business owners about the one-half percent sales tax increase and the conveyance fee increase.
Currently, the sales tax in the county is at 6.5 percent, the lowest in southeastern Ohio. If the emergency resolution is passes by the commissioners, tax would increase by one half percent to seven percent.
The increase would amount to 50 cents on every $100 spent on non grocery items in the county.
In total, the tax is estimated to generate between $650,000 and $700,000 additional for the county on a yearly basis.
In addition, the proposed conveyance fee increase of $1 on each $1,000 of property value would generate approximately $30,000 annually.
Karr voiced his support for the commissioners passing the proposed conveyance fee increase, due to it only affecting those who transfer property in the village, and not impacting those at or below the poverty level.
Karr stated that with 40-50 percent of the population at or below the poverty level it is difficult to place more taxes on people.
Suggestions on how to avoid the sales tax increase made by Karr included, not replacing retiring employees or moving others up to the positions at lower pay rates; cutting excess employees; using the CDs currently in the bank; sale of real estate owner by the county; allowing students in the Meigs High School shop class to service vehicles (which is done with Sheriff’s Office vehicles).
Karr also stated that raising taxes is against conservative principles, which the commissioners who have run as Republicans should have. (Editors Note: Commissioners Tom Anderson and Tim Ihle both ran on the Republican ticket, while Michael Bartrum ran as an Independent.)
The commissioners stated that they have tried just about everything to avoid the needed tax increase, but they need money to operate.
In other business, the commissioners approved the 2012 appropriation for the Meigs County Agricultural Society.
The EMS Contract with the union was approved as submitted by Doug Lavender, EMS Director.
Bills were approved in the total amount of $142,020.50, with $21,322.57 coming from county general.
The next meeting of the Meigs County Commissioners will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Meigs County Courthouse.
Present at the meeting were Commissioners Tim Ihle, Tom Anderson and Michael Bartrum, clerk Gloria Kloes and Karr.