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Council approves tax code reading

November 6, 2012
Morning Journal News

EAST LIVERPOOL - A revised tax code section made its way a step closer to reality at Monday night's City Council meeting, with an amendment aimed at lessening regulations for landlords.

Council approved second reading of the revised code, which had not been revised since 1964, amending a section that would have required landlords to report quarterly the names of their tenants.

With the amendment proposed by Councilman Sherrie Curtis, the code will require landlords to file such reports at the time they renew their annual license payments or when new tenants move into a unit.

Also added to the amendment at the suggestion of Ohio Avenue resident Linda Ziegler, who addressed council, was the stipulation that landlords only list adults in their tenant reports.

The ordinance has one reading to go before it is adopted and will be discussed again at finance committee meetings at 11 a.m. Nov. 13 and 6 p.m. Nov. 19, just prior to the regular council meeting. Curtis, who chairs the committee, urged those with comments to attend the Nov. 13 session.

Ziegler and fellow Ohio Avenue resident Brian Kerr both weighed in on the tax code amendment, saying the addition of a stipulation that oil and gas lease royalties are subject to taxing is not necessary.

Both said not much income would be realized from such royalties inside the city limits.

Former council member Ryan Stovall, whose committee spearheaded the tax code revision, addressed council, conceding the city "can get by" without taxing such royalties, "if that what it takes to get the updated code passed."

He pointed out that taxes are paid on gambling income, but said, "We're not looking to get rich off royalties."

Councilman Tom Cunningham questioned the "uproar" being made about paying tax on royalties, noting, "That is part of (a person's) income."

Kerr voiced his concern that the city "isn't going to grow if it keeps up as it is," and spoke of a farmers' market he had attempted to start he said was stymied by a "hucksters license" that was required of those selling goods.

However, Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell explained the hucksters license is in place to protect established, tax-paying businesses from having someone come in an try to sell items already being sold in their stores.

Estell said those growing items or making items at their own homes do not have to obtain the license, and after the meeting said the hucksters license, for example, would make less likely someone coming into town and selling computers on the sidewalk outside Kerr's Fifth Street computer business.

Kerr also said there had been a "misunderstanding" when the city called Sayre Electric about purchasing bulbs for traffic lights and that it was not that the bulbs were not going to be available again, just that they were out of stock.

"They are $2.50 each," he said.

After the meeting, Estell said the city had, in fact, been told by the company it would not be able to get the bulbs again but said, nonetheless, it would not have changed his mind about eliminating the traffic signals that were earmarked for elimination.

Cadmus Street resident Robert Richmond reiterated his previous concerns about the traffic light situation, urging council to rethink the decision.

Councilman Ray Perorazio advised Richmond that the administration (Estell and the mayor) make those decisions, not council.



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