Income tax increase to hit paychecks in 2019

Employers and employees in Marietta will see the impacts of last week’s income tax vote between the middle of January and the first paycheck of February.

“It’s effective Jan. 1, that 1.85 percent of income will be taxed,” explained Bonnie Duff, income tax administrator Tuesday.

But when that change will be consistent on the paycheck varies.

“There’s no one day that everybody will notice it,” explained Tom Perry, vice president for communication and brand management for Marietta College, one of the largest employers in Marietta. “Some employees are paid monthly for us and others are hourly.”

Perry said for the college the new income tax rate, currently, 1.7 percent but raising to 1.85 percent, will cost the college an additional $25,000 on its $16.7 million payroll.

Currently, the city receives approximately $284,000 from the college’s employee wages, said Perry, but will see that rise to approximately $309,000.

“So next month we’ll be reminding employees that this rate takes effect next year with both an email and a letter,” said Perry of the college’s preparation for the change. “But just like with every change in tax rates, you don’t see the real impact for a couple of paychecks.”

Duff explained that those on a biweekly payroll schedule could see as early as the middle of January what their checks will look like the remainder of the year or as late as the first paycheck in February.

“It depends on what two-week cycle you’re on,” added City Auditor Sherri Hess.

For those still getting paid for December 2018 on a check paid in January, the rate remains at 1.7 percent of earned income.

“It might be a bit stressful with that changeover at first… I just got a call from a payroll company asking when it’s effective though so they can be prepared,” noted Duff. “According to our payroll schedule for city employees, the old rate will just affect one day on the first paycheck (of 2019).”

She said then the city will see the first revenue with the additional tax funds in February.

“In February of 2018 the city brought in $775,789.53 from January’s tax and next February we’re estimating an additional $68,000,” she added.

Marietta City Council has begun budget talks to consider what that additional revenue for 2019 will be used for within the parameters of streets paving and fire equipment. Council will discuss the fire department’s budgets and priorities today at 2:30 p.m. in room 10 of the Armory, 241 Front St.

The Streets Department budget will be discussed in hearing on Nov. 27 beginning at 2 p.m.

Budget talks began Tuesday with a hearing on departments under the general fund.

By the numbers:

• Marietta residents approved an increase to the city income tax from 1.7 percent to 1.85 percent last week.

• The tax is projected to bring in approximately $900,000 in streets paving and fire equipment additional revenue.

• The tax increase passed by 11.96 percent of the vote.

• Residents and those who work within city limits will see the additional city take out of their paychecks between mid-January and early February.

Source: Times research.