WELLINGTON — Wellington Village Mayor Hans Schneider said it was a team effort of the village and residents to get the tax income increase approved on the Tuesday ballot.
The three-quarters of a percent income tax increase will generate $750,000 annually to help pay for employees, infrastructure and a new police station.
Unofficial results show the issue received 868 votes, or about 56 percent, in favor and 690, or about 44 percent, against it, according to the Lorain County Board of Elections.
The village has had a 1 percent income tax rate that hasn’t changed in 46 years. Village leaders pledged 100 percent reciprocity for anyone working outside of the village paying up to 1.75 percent in income tax in the community where they work if the increase passed.
By 2022, Schneider said, the village’s deficit would have been $533,000 without additional revenue. The village has taken short-term steps in 2018 to alleviate the financial problem, including a pay freeze on government employees, leaving vacant positions open and decreasing the capital improvement contribution this year from $450,000 to $100,000.
At least a portion of the additional revenue will help pay for a new police station for the village. The city has a purchase agreement with the owner of 147-149 E. Herrick Ave., to finalize the transaction by Nov. 30. Three businesses occupy the buildings — attorney Alecia Vidika’s office; Schlather Insurance Agency Inc.; and Hammersmith and Ditz LLC, an accounting service.
The business owners were notified and offered help through Wellington Main Street with relocation.
The purchase and renovation of the building will cost about $1.5 million but will provide the needed space for the department.
The Wellington Village Council will meet 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to pass the first reading of the reciprocity legislation.