10/14/2010 6:37:00 AM Hancock County Council reinstates library tax rate
GREENFIELD — In one fell swoop, the Hancock County Council on Wednesday raised local income taxes by almost half of a percentage point, effective Nov. 1.
Following a vote to establish a new 0.4 percent local option income tax, the council decided to increase the economic development tax, which funds the Hancock County Public Library, to 0.15 percent.
The county economic development income tax, CEDIT, was created with the express purpose of funding the library. Historically, it has been set at 0.15 percent. However, last year the county council reduced the rate to 0.1 percent when officials discovered the library had millions of dollars in reserve.
Within months of that decision, the council raised the CEDIT to 0.2 percent hoping to raise money for economic development. Over the course of a year the CEDIT generated roughly $2 million. Half went to the library, and half was earmarked for economic development.
The council recently eliminated the economic development 0.1 percent tax. But now, because the library is struggling with the same revenue shortfalls as the rest of local government, officials have determined to reinstate the original library rate, 0.15 percent. All revenues generated by CEDIT fund the library.