Sept. 18, 2013 — Olive Hill City Council did an about face Tuesday night and dropped consideration of a proposed 1.5 percent payroll tax.
About 60 persons attended the meeting to voice their disapproval of the proposed tax on each person who works inside the city limits. A majority of dissenters were school system employees and postal workers.
Those who spoke against the tax said it was unfair to ask those working within the city to pay because residents receiving government benefits wouldn’t be subject to the same tax.
After nearly two hours of discussion, Council member Glenn Meade moved to withdraw the payroll tax ordinance from consideration. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Kenny Fankell announced that a special revenue committee will be appointed to discuss alternative means of making up the city’s expected $60,000 budget shortfall.
No guarantees were made by the mayor and Council, however, that a payroll tax would not be reconsidered if no other feasible means of revenue generation could be found.
Fankell also stated that if a solution is not reached within three weeks, he would begin taking necessary steps to ensure the city doesn’t exceed its current financial resources.
That likely would mean reduction, or even outright elimination, of the city’s police force, as well as restricting fire department responses to within the city limits.
The Council will hold a special work session at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Olive Hill Senior Community Center.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.