Windham levy vital to keep police force

Amanda Garrett

Windham village officials hope an income tax levy on the ballot tomorrow will help the village overcome a “dire” financial situation.

If the levy doesn’t pass, cuts will have to be made in the police force, said Marian Garrett, chairwoman of the Windham Finance Committee.

“The financial situation right now is very dire,” she said. “We haven’t had a levy pass since around 1990.”

The income tax for the village goes into a general fund that supports the upkeep of roads and the police force, Garrett said. The village will probably be forced to cut personnel and equipment to the police force if the levy does not pass.

Police Chief Jack DeSalvo is having surgery and was unable to comment, but dispatchers’ supervisor Virgalene Hall said Windham employs four full-time and five part-time officers. There are also two full and eight part-time dispatchers.

The levy calls for a half-percent income tax increase along with an additional half-percent credit for Windham residents who pay at least 1 percent in municipal tax elsewhere.

Taxes would increase from 1.5 percent to 2 percent for residents who live and work in Windham, Garrett said. However, if village residents work in another community that taxes them at a rate of 1 percent or higher, their taxes would remain at 1.5 percent.

Windham’s current income tax brings in about $400,000 per year, Garrett said. If the new levy passes, it would add an additional $70,000 to the general funds coffers.

The levy would be retroactive to the beginning of 2006, Garrett said.

“It would be deducted from people’s checks as soon as employers could get it on the payroll,” she said.

Contact public affairs reporter Amanda Garrett at [email protected].