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Tabling tax fix was mistake

Some Ironton residents may have dodged a tax increase — at least for now — but it looks like everyone who uses city water may have to keep shelling out for the city’s monthly municipal fee.

That is unless the Ironton City Council puts the brakes on the two-year renewal of the $8 municipal fee that is likely to be put to a vote in two weeks.

Last week, council tabled a proposal that would have changed the long standing reciprocity agreement so that all Ironton residents pay a 1 percent income tax, regardless of employment outside city limits.

Currently, residents who work in other municipalities that have an income tax are only required to pay half of the city’s 1 percent income tax.

This remains an unfair division that means not everyone contributes equally to receive the same services.

Council voted to table this change saying that it wanted to look at other revenue options and budget considerations.

This stance simply doesn’t make sense for several reasons.

First, what other options are being considered? Why haven’t these been considered before? The city’s money problems aren’t new and this will be the third time at least of renewing the municipal fee so it isn’t like the revenue isn’t needed.

Second, if there are really other options, then why not table the municipal fee too? It makes less sense to leave it in place than it does to change the reciprocity so that every Irontonian who works pays an equal percentage toward maintaining city services.

Third, why wasn’t the reciprocity just allowed to run its course, which would have given the council and the public more opportunity to discuss it?

Tabling an unpopular — but fair — plan in favor of a fee that has been slapped on residents for the past four years with little input or accountability was a step in the wrong direction.

But, there is still time, for council to “right the ship” by doing the right thing.