Covington Council holds second reading on proposed tax changes


By Sam Wildow - Piqua Daily Call



COVINGTON — The Covington Council held several second readings of proposed ordinances during their meeting on Monday evening, including one that would reduce the income tax credit offered to residents who live in Covington but work outside of the village.

The council is considering amending the credit given to income tax paid to other municipalities in Ohio to keep up with the cost of maintaining the village. Resident taxpayers of the village would receive 0.5 percent credit for income paid to another municipality, which is down from the current 1.5 percent — a full credit for income taxes paid outside of Covington, as the village’s income tax is 1.5 percent — according to the ordinance.

Residents who live in Covington and work in another municipality would have to pay income tax in the municipality where they work and pay an additional 1 percent income tax in Covington. Covington residents who both live and work in Covington would not be affected.

Village Administrator Mike Busse previously explained at the council’s last meeting in November that this decision was to increase revenue for the village to maintain the village’s roads and infrastructure as well as continue providing residents with the same level of services. The village was not able to pave any streets this year due to a lack of funds.

According to data from St. Mary’s Tax Department, the village estimated that by reducing the income tax credit, it would receive approximately $260,000 in additional funds.

If approved, the change would be effective in January 2019 and would not apply to income earned in 2018.

The council also held the second reading of an ordinance that would change how the funds generated by the village income tax is allocated. The funds are currently split with 20 percent to the street fund and 80 percent to general fund, but this ordinance would split the funds with to 25 percent going to the street fund and 75 percent going to the general fund.

The council also held the second readings of ordinances that would give village employees a 3 percent salary raise.

The council also held the second reading of a resolution entering into a two-year contract with Covington Fire and EMS for fire and emergency medical services. The cost for 2019 will be $240,000, and the cost for 2020 will be $247,000. The contract is being paid for by the general fund levies that voters recently renewed during the November election, which generate approximately $153,000 annually.

The council then held the second reading of a resolution entering into a two-year contract with Frank J. Patrizio and Nathanial Funderburg for legal services. The cost is approximately $1,300 a month.

The council then approved the village’s capital equipment inventory list and replacement schedule.

Also during their meeting, Busse updated the council about the village joining the state treasurer’s Ohio Checkbook program, which posts the village’s yearly expenditures on ohiocheckbook.com. Busse showed the council how to access it through a link on village’s website at covington-oh.gov. The Ohio Checkbook is also accessible through the Ohio Treasurer’s website at ohiotreasurer.gov. Busse also showed the council how to navigate the Ohio Checkbook to focus on different expenditures, which currently include expenses for 2015, 2016, and 2017.

“You can really drill down on anything you want to see,” Busse said.

The village is also seeking to do electrical work on the government center to place the building on an emergency generator during a power outage, Busse said. This would allow the government center to continue to operate as well as potentially serve as a shelter during emergencies.

During the mayor’s report, Mayor Ed McCord said that the entry deadline to take part in the Covington Christmas Decorating Contest is Friday. There are cash prizes between $50 and $250 available to winners. The judging will be held between Dec. 12-14. More information and the contest’s entry form are available on the village’s website.

Covington’s government center will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25, and Tuesday, Jan. 1. Trash pickup will be delayed for customers normally picked up on Tuesday and Wednesday during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Day. Covington staff will pick up extra residential trash items on Dec. 24 through Jan. 4 at no additional cost.

Leaf pickup will also be continuing through the end of this week.

By Sam Wildow

Piqua Daily Call

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com