Gallia approves sales tax language

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Commission approved ballot language for a county-wide one-quarter of one percent tax sales increase to help in the Gallia County Junior Fairground relocation effort.

“As you will see, the resolution has been drafted to place the issue on the Nov. 3, 2015, ballot and if approved by the electors, collect the tax for a maximum period of 20 years commencing April 1, 2016,” said a letter from bond counsel to the commission Thursday morning.

The wording of what is expected to appear on the ballot this coming November states: “The Board of County Commissioners of Gallia County proposes to levy a sales and use tax in the amount of one-fourth of one percent for the purpose of relocating the Gallia County Fairgrounds out of a floodplain, and the associated construction and equipping of facilities necessary for conducing the Gallia County Junior Fair, associated youth activites, the French 500 Flea and Farmer’s Market, and other events/activities for the benefit of Gallia County, for so long as required to pay debt service on bonds and notes issued for such purpose, but not to exceed a period of 20 years.”

Votes will be asked,”Shall the resolution of the Gallia County Commissioners proposing a one-quarter of 1 percent increase in the sales and use tax be approved?”

The option is followed by a “yes” or “no” check box. An affirmative vote is necessary for passage.

According information gathered from earlier commission meetings, the sales tax increase is proposed to bring in more than $900,000.

Dennis Schwallie helped prepare the language as bond and legal counsel for the commission. He is associated with Dinsmore and Schohl in Columbus.

“The ballot has not been approved. What we have done is approve to send it to the (Gallia County) Board of Elections. Now, the Board of Elections then acts on it and sends it to Columbus to the tax commissioner and secretary of state. They are the ones that truly say ‘Yes, this will go on the ballot,’” said Gallia County commissioner David Smith.

With previous meetings stating that the bond repayal cost is roughly $600,000 yearly, Tim Massie, Gallia County Junior Fair secretary, said the intention of any extra money gathered over a year is to be used to more quickly pay off the principal amount of the bond.

A group meeting earlier in the year held by the fair board estimated the relocation and construction of new facilities to amount to nearly $9 million.

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright