Bellevue residents want city to keep tax break

BELLEVUE Gary Huffer does not want to move out of Bellevue, the city he says he loves.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

BELLEVUE

Gary Huffer does not want to move out of Bellevue, the city he says he loves.

But if the city eliminates the 100-percent income tax credit given to people who live in Bellevue but work elsewhere, Huffer says he and his girlfriend will be forced to leave when his lease runs out.

"If the tax passes, we'll have no choice but to move," Huffer said.

An ordinance being considered by city council would reduce the tax credit to 50 percent. Huffer is one of a contingent of residents who have asked city council to abandon the idea.

At a time when the job situation in Bellevue is bleak, it is unfair to penalize Bellevue residents who work elsewhere, said 29-year-old Jayme Deppen, who works in Milan.

"A lot of us would love to work in Bellevue, especially with the price of gas. ... It's hard to find decent employment in town to support a family, so we're having to leave town (but in turn) we're being penalized on top of that," Deppen said.

Gerald Flegal, 57, who works in Port Clinton, said what troubles him is that if this were a levy issue, the majority of Bellevue's voters would have to cast a vote in favor of the change. He said it is scary that far fewer votes are required in this instance.

"Council can pass this with four votes. Now, I know you represent us, but four citizens voting to pass this doesn't turn out to be 50 percent, doesn't turn out to be 10 percent, doesn't even turn out to be 1 percent. It comes to 14-100ths of 1 percent of the population of Bellevue that's going to put a tremendous tax burden on your out-of-town workers," he said.

Larry Fazio, 56, who works in Clyde, has a similar view.

"It seems every time I turn around, taxes are going up. ... Everything's going up, and every time you walk into a store you get sticker shock," he said.

Residents cannot have things both ways, Bellevue Mayor David Kile said Monday night.

On one hand, residents want the city to open up its wallet to deal with flooding issues and other concerns. At the same time, they do not want any additional taxes, he said.

"We hear we (should) spend more money and at the same time, tonight we hear that we don't want any more taxes," he said.