The Windham mayor and Village Council will be voting to remove the one-half percent income tax credit during their meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. So far only two of the six council members have stated that they will vote "No" (R. Barrett and J. Miranda). The other four members have not openly stated how they will vote.
The mayor is in favor of recinding your tax credit. Should there be a 3-3 tie vote of council members, the mayor can vote to break the tie. A majority of four council members would have to vote "No" in order to save your one-half percent credit.
Should the vote be to remove your tax credit, then you will begin losing your one-half percent tax credit for this year (2012) and the following years. You will see the impact of this in April when you file your tax return.
Over 17 years ago, on May 2, 1995, village residents voted to approve the one-half percent tax credit and a one-half percent increase in the income tax that increased the tax from 1 percent to 1.5 percent. The tax and credit has remained the same since passed in 1995.
Five times prior to the May 1995 passage (from May 1993 to May 2, 1995), the village voters turned down those five ballots with wording that did not include the one-half percent tax credit.
The May 2,1995 ballot had wording that stated "allowing a credit for municipal income tax paid elsewhere, be passed." Village residents voters passed that ballot wording by a 60 percent margin (214 in favor to 139 against).
That passage by the voters made it possible to provide matching funds for police grants of over $200,000 that put more police officers on our village streets for many years.
Our village population was about 3,200 residents in the 1990s. Our police department was at a low of three full-time officers in 1994 and went to a high of seven full-time officers and one canine in 2000, thanks to our residents.
Is it right for the current mayor and Village Council members to remove your one-half percent credit or is it wrong?
Contact your village representatives or go to the meeting on Tuesday and let them know what you think -- before they vote.
We need a positive impact from this decision Tuesday. I believe that mayor and Village Council should drop trying to remove our residents tax credit and try to find a better way to resolve their financial crunch.
We found a way to do it in 1995 and our residents came through for us.
Jim Moore, Windham