Tax battle is back on in Newton Falls

NEWTON FALLS – Citizens plan to challenge legislation passed Monday that repeals the village’s tax forgiveness by putting the issue on the November ballot.

Werner Lange is spearheading the campaign to restore the tax credit given to people paying income tax into another municipality where they work.

“It’ll cost over $1,000 a year for the rest of my life, but for me, money isn’t the important part,” Lange said. “This is about the principle of the matter, and this tax needs to be voted on by the people, not just put in place because the city wants it to be.”

In order for a referendum of the ordinance to be up for vote in November’s general election, 141 valid signatures need to be collected and Board of Election certified by the Aug. 4 deadline.

“We will have have no trouble getting the signatures,” Werner said. “Just in one day I already have 70 signatures and we think we can get as many as 500.”

The tax forgiveness was available for up to 1 percent off village income tax to those working outside the municipality and paying income tax into that municipality.

Monday night’s repeal follows the failure of a 0.5 percent income tax increase request on the May ballot, which would have increased the village income tax to 1.5 percent.

Village Manager Jack Haney said the repeal will generate about $250,000 per year to pay for village services, including police, road maintenance, the community center and the parks and recreation department.

The increase will not apply to retirement incomes and Haney said it will help fill in a $430,000 decrease in the village general fund since 2005.