Remember that Monday, Oct. 11, is the last day to register to vote so check your status. Early voting began Oct. 4, continues 'till election day and can be accomplished at the Board of Elections office in the Washington County Courthouse. This is part two for City Council at-large candidates.
Question: Should the city of Marietta repeal or lower the city income tax to attract new business?
Dianne Crandall: "The following sentence, from a Marietta Times article, shows that there are more issues concerning Marietta's taxes than just lowering or raising them "Also 401k plan contributions are taxed by the city at 1.7 percent and included as taxable income as the contributions are made, which is the opposite of the federal and state governments. This means that if you retire outside of Marietta, you are taxed twice on your 401k; first as the money is contributed, second when it is distributed."
Glen McCabe: "I do believe the income tax has driven individuals and businesses out of Marietta, so I'd be willing to study the potential positive effects of reducing the city income taxes in a way that is revenue neutral. Often lowering taxes has a beneficial effect on the willingness of people to invest somewhere. The result is greater revenue and increased population."
Michael Mullen: City income tax pays for the essentials that residents need including police and fire protection (and emergency squad services) and street maintenance. Unless a complete overhaul of the state and federal tax system occurs (that changes how municipal revenues are derived) it does not make sense to repeal the revenue source that pays for these most basic and essential services."
Harley Noland: "The city of Marietta provides a wide range of services to its citizens for which it requires income to cover the cost of the services. Nothing is free and the citizens of Marietta realized that when they voted in the income tax. Marietta can and will attract new businesses and citizens by being a wonderful place to live and work ."
The League of Women Voters
The mission of the League of Women Voters is to "encourage informed and active participation in government, work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influence public policy through education and advocacy." To achieve our mission, the Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters is planning a column periodically to educate voters as they prepare to vote on Nov. 8. The information will be nonpartisan and cover a variety of topics.
Please remember that the League of Women Voters is open to both men and women so if you are interested in joining call Caroline Putnam at 373-4510.
Denver Abicht: "I do not believe that repealing or lowering the city income tax is the answer. I am all for promoting new businesses to come to Marietta, and I am willing to support tax incentives to bring those companies into our community. But on the other hand, with the reduction of revenues received from the state of Ohio, the city income tax is the only way the city can continue to offer the level of services our citizens have come to expect.
Michael Boersma: "The city should explore all possible options when trying to attract new business. If signs show that the most cost effective means of attracting new business is to lower the income tax then the city should do that."
Question: Share a bill or project you would author and/or support during your term as council member and why
Glen McCabe: "I believe I can help with improving the way matters are handled at the city level, and also perhaps saving some money on construction costs based upon my many years in the construction business. Also, perhaps there are ways we can reduce our audit costs with the help of the state auditor. The annual audits are very expensive and perhaps we can improve efficiency there."
Michael Mullen: "As mayor I've been involved in grant writing, development and management of many projects, including upgrades on the waste water treatment plant, the restoration of the armory, extending our Rivertrail waking and biking paths,expanding the skatepark, construction of the Harmar boating facility, additional funding for street and alley pavement replacement, and improving our flood early warning systems. If elected to council I will continue to work to bring these important community projects to successful completion."
Harley Noland: "When re-elected I would like to convene a group of interested parties who would work together to redevelop the upper stories in downtown Marietta. By practicing adaptive reuse of Marietta's upper stories we can more than double the amount of occupied square footage which would provide new tax revenues. In addition this type of redevelopment protects our historical environment and is a green activity since it reuses existing structures. If proper packaging of these incentives were marketed nationally along with the attractiveness of living in our great city I believe that we could create a renaissance."
Denver Abicht: "A bill or project I would like to author and/or support is fixing and maintaining the city's 91 plus alleys. Each year the city fixes on one or two. Many of our alleys are in very bad condition and our current policy of fixing one or two alleys a year means we will never get caught up. Even though projected funding in the street fund has been reduced because of our budget crisis, I will work with the streets committee to direct the administration to search for grant monies and support spending more streets fund monies on alley reconstruction and maintenance."
Michael Boersma: "I hope to work with the various city departments and with businesses around town to provide greater activities for teenagers and young adults. The biggest complaint among the younger generations in town is that there is nothing to do and I hope we can work together to change that."
Dianne Crandall: "The armory. I was on the first committee to save it 20 years ago. Marietta sells itself as an historic tourist town yet there is no convenient or well positioned tourist center for downtown Marietta. I believe the armory could be an asset for us and it is unfortunate that past political ambitions prevented the work from being finished more than a decade ago."
We have six candidates vying for three positions. Continue to read and listen so you are ready to vote for the candidates that best represent you.
Article submitted by Betsy Cook, a member of the Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters.