July 1, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Electric tax cash might go to Seville residents

SEVILLE — Village residents might be getting some tax money back — if some officials have their way.

Public Affairs Board President Kieran O’Rourke said he’s urging Seville Village Council to return kilowatt-hour tax bills to village electricity customers instead of applying the money to the general fund like it is now.

He said that’s the way it was from 2000 to 2007, until Council needed more revenue to maintain a solid budget.

The kilowatt-hour tax was in 2001 a result of the state deregulating the electricity industry. Since residents of Seville didn’t support deregulation, Council decided to give the tax money back to the customers.

“But in 2007, the village became desperate with a capital D,” O’Rourke said.

He said Council passed an emergency motion in 2007 to apportion the money to the general fund instead, and no one — not even he — opposed the decision.

“It was supposed to be temporary,” he said. “And now’s the time to start giving it back to the people.”

He said the tax totals about $126,000 a year. The average homeowner pays about $5 a month, but large businesses could pay almost $1,000 monthly, O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke said the Board of Public Affairs voted unanimously March 4 to propose a resolution on the matter to the government subcommittee, which met the same day.

The subcommittee denied the resolution 3-2, but the issue will still be heard at tonight’s 7 p.m. council meeting, held at 120 Royal Crest Drive.

Councilmembers Larry Landis, Leslie Miller and Rick Stallard voted down the motion at the subcommittee meeting, according to the minutes. Councilmembers Barbara Schwartz and Roger Kilgore supported it.

Landis said it’s not that he doesn’t support the idea, it’s that it’s the wrong time to make the decision.

“If they wanted to do something like this, they should have come to the council in the fall before we made this year’s budget,” Landis said. “It was going to take $125,000 from our budget, and we just didn’t plan for that.”

He said he would only consider the resolution if revenues were up.

O’Rourke urged community members to attend tonight’s meeting, whether they support or refute the issue.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.