Powell business owner files challenge over income-tax issue on May ballot; review underway

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek

A challenge to the city of Powell’s proposed income-tax increase, which the city filed to be placed on the May 4 ballot, has been filed with the Delaware County Board of Elections.

The challenge, signed by Jan S. Simonis of Industrial Affairs, states, “I do not believe that due process was followed to correctly place this issue on the ballot. Therefore, I respectfully challenge the placement onto the ballot and request that this issue be revisited in a formal hearing.  

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"As a small business owner, this proposed increase will effectively cause a 125% increase in my taxes and place (undue) hardship on my business and other small business persons in Powell," Simonis wrote in the undated challenge.

"The (Delaware County) Prosecutor's Office is still in the process of reviewing our course of action. Challenges in Delaware County happen often, but the circumstances behind this one make it a little more unique," said Anthony Saadey, the elections board’s deputy director. 

“We are pleased the Delaware County Board of Elections approved the ballot language during its regular board meeting (March 2) for the special election,” Powell City Manager Andrew White said. “During this meeting, the city first learned of an inquiry about the ballot certification process. The city is confident the board’s certification was proper and that our citizens will set a tax policy by exercising their right to vote on May 4.”  

City Council approved the resolution to place the issue on the ballot Jan. 19.

The measure would raise the city’s income tax from 0.75% to 2.0% and increase the credit for taxes paid in another municipality from 25% to 100%.

If approved by voters, the tax would begin collection Jan. 1, 2022.

The issue is estimated to generate $3.4 million annually in revenue for the city.

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