New Chicago joins two communities asking county to approve 1 percent tax

2012-10-11T20:00:00Z 2013-05-10T14:19:04Z New Chicago joins two communities asking county to approve 1 percent taxDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

NEW CHICAGO | The town of New Chicago has joined forces with two other communities asking Lake County officials to approve a 1 percent personal income tax.

The New Chicago Town Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution seeking adoption of a local option income tax. The resolution will be sent to county officials, Town Council President Laurie Robbins said.

"There's both pros and cons, but I'm hoping for the pros," Robbins said.

New Chicago joins council members in Hobart and Merrillville in passing similar resolutions seeking a local option income tax, Hobart City Council President David Vinzant said.

"We have to do something. We can't just sit back and let the tax freeze continue," Vinzant said.

Vinzant said he attended the New Chicago Town Council meeting and spoke briefly to members prior to their vote.

"Part of what we're trying to do is get other communities to pass a resolution. I've reached out to other communities and New Chicago was one of those," Vinzant said.

New Chicago Councilwoman Sue Pelfrey, D-4th, said she's sold on the idea that communities, especially those as small as hers, need to take action.

"How do you survive in a little town like ours when there's nothing else to cut?" Pelfrey asked.

The Hobart City Council in early September unanimously approved a resolution asking county officials to approve a 1 percent personal income tax.

Hobart, the first council to pass the resolution, was followed about a week later by the Merrillville Town Council.

The New Chicago Town Council, which closely followed the resolution passed by Hobart officials, also is asking county officials to approve a 0.25 percent tax to pay for public safety projects and a 0.25 percent tax to pay for countywide capital projects.

"The state allows several optional income taxes to reduce property taxes. Every other county, including Porter County, has passed something," Vinzant said.

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