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Referendum petition seeks citizen vote on reduced income tax credit
By Beth Church
A group of citizens submitted a referendum petition to Rossford City Council Monday night, hoping to reverse the decision to cut the income tax credit in half.
Resident Bob Densic told council that 824 signatures were gathered by 21 petitioners going door to door.
“I know your intentions,” Mr. Densic said. “I know you’re trying to do something for the city.”
However, the residents believe they already pay too much in taxes, he added.
“We have a high tax rate in the city of Rossford,” he said. “The community cannot afford it.”
The petition seeks to place the issue on the November ballot for a vote by city residents.
On January 11, city council voted 4-3 to reduce the 100 per cent tax credit to 50 percent. Rossford residents who work outside the city have historically received a 100 percent credit for the income taxes they pay to other communities.
Changing the credit to 50 percent would generate about $750,000 annually for the city, which council has dedicated to street improvements.
The change will affect about 2,100 Rossford residents who work outside the city.
Mr. Densic urged council to rescind the ordinance that reduced the tax credit and “consider other options.”
He encouraged them to reconsider the approach to street improvements.
“Let’s scale back on dreams of what we want to see,” he added.
It is estimated that a Rossford resident making $50,000 a year working in Toledo will pay an additional $560 annually in income tax under the ordinance.
Councilman Dan Wagner, who voted against the ordinance along with Councilmen Greg Marquette and Jerry Staczek, thanked the residents for their efforts.
Following the referendum petition procedure, Mayor Neil MacKinnon III said the ballots will be held for 10 days at the municipal building and then delivered to the Wood County Board of Elections.
The Board of Elections then will certify the signatures on the petition.
Council approved by a 6-1 vote the annexation of 143.5 acres to the city between Glenwood and Lime City roads.
It was the last step for the city in the annexation process that began last spring.
The petition for annexation was signed by seven property owners: Carol Brossia Stephens, J. Scott Stewart, Matthew Warton, Jim and Robin Fuller, Charles Rinker and Randy Cole, executive director of the Ohio Turnpike Commission.
The land includes three houses and vacant farmland.
Councilman Wagner voted against the annexation, noting the poor condition of Lime City Road.
“We can’t afford to take on additional roads,” he said.
Mayor MacKinnon believes the new property will be a positive addition to the city.
“These folks came to us–they want to be a part of the community,” he said.
Eunice Rinker, one of the parcel owners, thanked council for their decision.
“I appreciate the cooperation we’ve had,” she said.
In other business, council:
•Heard that Colony Road is closed until mid-summer while the pump station abandonment project continues.
•Heard from City Administrator Mike Scott that he recently met with the new Pilkington plant manager, who announced that the company will be rebuilding their oxygenated furnace this summer.
The $40 million project “signals a continued commitment to this plan and the city of Rossford,” he said. “We’re very happy about that.”
•Approved the $37,660 purchase of a 2016 Chevy Tahoe for the police department. The vehicle is part of the annual replacement program.
•Heard from Kenneth Kinker of Deimling Road who is opposed to the installation of a soccer dome in the Crossroads.
Noting that his family has lived in this area since the 1800s, he said, “We don’t want that right next to our house.”
•Heard from Clerk of Council Bob Watrol that an Ohio Division of Liquor Control hearing has been scheduled for March 3 concerning a new liquor permit request by James Farrell.
Council questioned the permit because the address listed on the application does not exist, but would be near the barn in front of the Home Depot complex.
Councilman Moe Minarcin noted that some liquor permits are purchased by business owners to be sold to other businesses.
Law Director Kevin Heban will represent the city at the hearing, and explore the number of liquor permits available in the Crossroads entertainment district.
Currently, there are no liquor permits available for the downtown business district, and four applicants waiting for a permit to become available, he said.
Council’s next meeting is 7 p.m., Monday, February 22, at the municipal building, 133 Osborn Street, and is open to the public.
The Journal office in Perrysburg now has the following new hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
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