Most of the residents of Amelia, Ohio, found out about a new 1 percent income tax last year via a letter in the mail. The village council had voted to impose the new tax without input from the public.
That decision sparked a contentious political drama in the village that resulted in the total disbanding of the community, the New York Times reported.
Residents of the now-former village of Amelia voted to disband the village this month — a village that had existed since 1900. The village will be divided between two townships. Some residents simply felt the village represented an extra, unnecessary layer of government that was wasting their money.
“That’s just too many layers of fat,” resident and salesman Ed McCoy said. “The best way to get rid of that fat is to start at the bottom.”
Amelia is a community of about 5,000 people with a median income of $61,500. The community was financially stable, but the new local income tax pushed many residents over the edge of being fed up with the local government. However, not everyone supported the dissolution of the village, and the election cycle leading up to the vote was extremely contentious.
“This election was worse than any presidential election I’ve ever seen in my life,” local business owner Steve Crawford said.
The final vote in favor of disbanding Amelia was 893-419. The village’s seven police officers and some other local government employees will lose their jobs as a result of the decision, as the community will rely on either the townships or the county for services previously provided by the village. But for some residents, that’s preferable.
But Johnny Parsons, 59, an insurance salesman, remained confident that the village did not provide anything he could not get for cheaper somewhere else. A supporter of President Trump, he celebrated by taping a piece of paper over his red hat so that it read “Make Amelia Great Again.”
“If you give people back more of their earnings, they can live a better lifestyle and buy things for their kids,” he said, instead of funding what he viewed as “endless stupidity and reckless spending.”