2008-10-08 / Front Page

Time running out to adopt LOIT increase

A great bargain or a risky proposition?… council makes a decision
By Debbie Lowe Staff writer

Carroll County Council members met Monday afternoon to discuss how to proceed with a Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) increase to be adopted by Dec. 31.

Commissioners' attorney Barry Emerson presented a proposal from London Witte Group (LWG) of Indianapolis for between $3,500 and $4,500 to analyze data from the 20,000 land parcels in the county. An explanation of the different components of LOIT to aid council members in making a tax increase decision was included in the proposal. Emerson said he queried another firm about the same services and received a verbal quote of $35,000.

Council member Ann Brown said she spoke with a third firm who also gave a $35,000 price tag for the service. She said Montgomery County officials paid $50,000 for help with how to proceed with LOIT in that county.

Council member consensus was the county could not afford to make a mistake and lose money with the tax in- crease.

After a telephone call to LWG during the meeting, Emerson reported the firm's offer for service was comparable to a written offer received from the higher priced firm Brown contacted.

LWG was hired to provide the service, but with stipulations and clarifications. Steve Ashby requested a detailed "laundry list" of what exact services the firm would provide which would include real numbers to predict shortfalls by using the different LOIT options.

Other business

Sheriff Tony Burns was granted permission to replace a jailer who submitted a resignation.

County sanitarian Kris Jones was given permission to hire a food service inspector.

Commissioners were granted permission to replace outgoing highway superintendent Ron Francis.

The next meetings will be Oct. 30. Council will meet at 8:30 a.m. to finalize the 2009 budget, at 4:30 p.m. for a public budget hearing, and at 6 p.m. for a regular business meeting.

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