Hammond councilman plans to bring back resolution opposing income tax

2013-05-15T18:45:00Z 2013-05-15T23:29:07Z Hammond councilman plans to bring back resolution opposing income taxChelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Hammond City Councilman Bob Markovich will attempt to revive his resolution opposing a county income tax after it died at Monday's City Council meeting because of a lack of support.

The resolution originally was set for a council meeting that was canceled in April, before the Lake County Council approved and the Lake County Board of Commissioners chose not to veto the tax last week.

Markovich, D-at large, said he will place a resolution opposing the 1.5 percent tax on the agenda for the City Council's June 10 meeting. Markovich argued councils in other Lake County cities and towns had approved resolutions voicing their opinions on the tax, and he felt the Hammond City Council, which represents a population of more than 80,000 people, should chime in.

“I want to say I'm sorry, but I'm not,” Markovich said. “This needs to be addressed, step up to the plate and show your true colors and represent your people, and that's where it's at. It's not a county issue. It's our issue.”

Markovich repeatedly asked City Council President Michael Opinker, D-5th, to allow for council members to debate the resolution. Opinker did not address Markovich's request.

The tax is expected to generate nearly $7 million in new revenue for the city.

Markovich also took issue with the cancellation of the April meeting.

Opinker had canceled the meeting because of a lack of quorum, explaining council members were dealing with flooding in their basements and constituents' basements following heavy rainfall.

Markovich questioned if his resolution led to the cancellation and asked those attending the Monday meeting to draw their own conclusions.

Councilwoman Janet Venecz, D-at large, said since the tax already was approved, any debate by the City Council would lack purpose.

“I don't see any useful purpose for rehashing something that is over and done with,” Venecz said. “We're not going to change the vote.”

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