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No new (LOIT) taxes

The Harrison County Council Monday night agreed, with a 5-1 vote, to not adopt any form of the Local Option Income Tax (LOIT).
Councilman William T. (Bill) Nichols voted against.
If approved, residents would have seen the tax appear Oct. 1.
Twenty of Indiana’s 92 counties have adopted some form of the tax since it became available in 2007, many in fear of lost revenue when the circuit breaker law change takes effect in 2010.
‘The governor pushed counties to adopt these in 2007-08; few jumped on,’ Shawn Donahue, the council’s legal counsel, said. ‘No county in Southern Indiana has adopted any of these.’
Donahue led the yearly state-mandated public hearing regarding the tax.
In March, council financial advisor Frank Cummings estimated the tax could bring in $1.7 million to the county. He also said the tax cap or circuit breaker law (which is the 1 percent property tax cap on homes, 2 percent on farmland and rental property and 3 percent for commercial or business property) will have little effect in Harrison County in regard to lost revenue, at least for the next few years.
The authority given to counties to increase existing local option income taxes was put in place to provide an avenue of relief for property taxpayers by allowing counties another funding source for increased local spending and to provide an option for alternative sources of revenue to counties.
In other matters Monday night, the board unanimously approved just more than $391,000 for the Milltown bridge project, completing Harrison County’s agreed obligation of 60 percent.
The council heard a request of $29,000 from Emergency Medical Services Director Gary Kleeman to remount an ambulance on a new chassis. Kleeman said acting now, before chassis availability changes next year, will save the county $40,000, lowering next year’s request by $120,000.
It also heard a request of $20,450 from Bob Woosley of Heritage Engineering, who was representing the Regional Sewer District, for a trailer-mounted back-up generator for the Berkshire Wastewater Treatment Plant east of New Salisbury. The council advised Woosley to report back to the council with a price for a contract with a guarantee delivery of a generator in emergency situations.
The sewer district board has a non-guarantee contract with its operator, Aqua Utilities, for an emergency generator. But in widespread storms, such as the September wind and January ice storms, generators are in short supply.
The council will vote on both additional appropriations, requested out of riverboat gaming funds, at its next meeting, Monday night, July 27, at 7.
Other additionals to be voted on from gaming funds include a total of $110,000 for township trustees’ budgets, $71,500 for the 20-percent match for the federally required inspection for the Lanesville connector road, $28,840 for the 20-percent match for right-of-way acquisition for the Corydon-Ramsey-Sival Road project and $35,000 to CyberTek Engineering to replace the DVR recorders and to purchase a new back-up system for the justice center in Corydon.
Also, the council will vote on an additional of $100,000 out of the rainy day fund for juvenile and adult placement.

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