Clermont Rescinds Tax Rate to Help Fire Contract
(posted Sept 13)
Within six weeks of its adoption, the Clermont Town Council voted to rescind
the cumulative firefighting building and equipment tax rate at its September
Starting in 2009, Clermont taxpayers would have been levied a tax rate
of .0333 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to help pay for the fire
service contract with Wayne Township. The council's about face was brought
about by HEA 1001 and not the large public opposition expressed at the
July 28 meeting. Despite the council's approval, remonstrators continued
to fight by submitting petitions to the Department of Local Government
Finance urging the agency not to approve the council's resolution.
President Bob Hinshaw explained Wayne Township recommended the council
adopt the tax rate to assist paying for the township's fire contract. He
said the township has made it clear that in 2009 every taxpayer would pay
the same rate. As of date, Wayne Township taxpayers pay more than Clermont
residents for fire service. However, some Clermont residents only see the
cost of fire services increasing from $80,000 to $360,000 since 2006. It
has been resident Linda Lucas' complaint that Clermont does not have that
many fires for the bill to be escalating.
Town Attorney Robert Lutz said the cumulative firefighting building and
equipment fund was initially outside the levy that would have raised additional
revenue for the town, but that changed for towns with the passage of HEA
1001. The law did not change the township cumulative firefighting building
and equipment tax rate. It remained outside the levy.
Hinshaw contended the tax rate being placed inside the levy would now make
Clermont taxpayers pay more than their fair share for fire service. The
tax rate would be in addition to the general fund that also pays for the
fire contract. The Department of Local Government finance will be notified
of the council's action to drop the fund.
Clerk Treasurer Kathy Arauco said the town received $118,000 of the 2007
tax distributions and will pay the remainder of the 2007 fire contract.
Lutz recommended that any funds left over from the 2008 budget be transferred
to the Rainy Day fund to prepare for the drop in tax revenue due to the
tax caps instituted by HEA 1001.
The council also approved of Williams Construction's bid to repair Tansel
Road, Key Lane, Railroad Road, and Log Run. Quotes ranged from $16,630
for Williams Constructional to $24,597 Grady Brothers' $24,000. Councilor
Vonda Kiger opposed the project. She recommended taking one street at a
time to do a complete mill and resurfacing, instead of doing "hodge
podge" repairs covering many streets.