Income tax revenues in Groveport continue to grow.
Finance Director Ken Salak reported to Groveport Village Council at its July 9 meeting that the village received $977,972 in income tax revenue in June, which is a 34 percent increase of $253,250 over June 2006.
"That’s a pretty hefty sum," said Village Administrator Jon Crusey.
June was the second biggest month of income tax revenue collection for the village in 2007 with only the $1.2 million in income tax revenue received in April being higher.
So far in 2007, income tax revenues are up $784,816, or 18 percent, over this point in 2006.
Crusey noted that the village is $496,665, or 9 percent, over what the estimated income tax revenues would be at this time.
Income tax fund adjustment
In a related financial action, council approved an ordinance to amend a 1992 income tax allocation ordinance, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2005, to redistribute the village’s income tax revenues.
The legislation places 80 percent of the available income tax receipts (less $100,000 which will be applied to the rainy day fund) in the general fund for operating expenses; and 20 percent into the debt retirement fund to satisfy financing obligations of capital expenditures with the remaining receipts being applied to the capital improvement fund.
Salak said the 1992 income tax ordinance had to be amended to reflect the village’s current financial situation. In 1992, council approved legislation mandating that 53 percent of its income tax revenues be placed in the capital improvement fund and 47 percent be put in the general fund for operating expenses.
Since then, Groveport’s finances have grown with rising income tax revenues generated from commercial development in the village. With growth has also come an increase in big ticket operating expenses for improvements such as the village’s recreation center, golf course, and aquatic center.
Salak said too much money was being tied up in the capital improvement fund, and, once it is in that fund, it cannot be removed to be used elsewhere. He said the change frees up more money to pay debts on the recreation center, aquatic center, and golf course, as well as other operating expenses, while still leaving ample funds for capital improvement projects. He said the 1992 ordinance was set up heavy toward capital improvements at a time when the village’s budget was much smaller and council in those days wanted to ensure money was available for projects.
Firecracker crack down results
At council’s June 11 meeting, Mayor Lance Westcamp, citing safety issues, stated the village would crack down on individuals who shot off unauthorized fireworks in the village.
However, according to Groveport Police Chief Gary York, only one arrest was made for fireworks violations in the days preceding, and including, the Fourth of July, even though fireworks could be seen and heard going off in some of the village’s neighborhoods.
York said catching fireworks violators is not an easy task as the police officer must actually witness an individual shooting off the fireworks in order to issue a citation.
Additionally, York said 18 police officers were on duty on the Fourth of July, but most were required to work traffic duty after the village’s Independence Day fireworks display in order to allow the large crowd to smoothly flow out of town. Because of this, officers were unavailable to search out fireworks violators.
"It’s hard to be everywhere at once," observed York.
According to Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon, vendors may sell fireworks in Ohio provided an adult buyer signs a statement acknowledging they are not permitted to fire them off in Ohio. He added the village also addresses the individual fireworks issue under its fire prevention code, which notes such activity is a first degree misdemeanor.