East Palestine considering train derailment tax exemption
More relief could be on the way to those impacted by the train derailment in East Palestine that happened on February 3.
According to a Facebook post by the City of East Palestine, council is considering an ordinance that would create a village tax exemption for derailment-related payments that the village's residents would receive.
This includes any payments given to them by Norfolk Southern.
Without the creation of this exemption, the people that live in East Palestine would be required to by the village's 1.5% income tax.
Additionally, since taxes are not being withheld from these payments, like wage paychecks, any taxpayer would have to pay the taxes all at once when filing their ta returns in 2024, according to the city's announcement.
"These citizens shouldn't have to pay this money back after what they went through in February," said Mayor Trent Conaway. "They needed that relief, that money to get through that."
The proposed exemption was first read on Aug. 28 and is expected to go on second read Sept. 11. Once it goes through its third read on Sept. 25, the ordinance will go into effect after 30 days.
Conaway tells 21 News the exemption will be retroactive, protecting residents for the entire year of 2023.
He adds that the ordinance could be re-approved for next year also.
The city is also considering accepting treated water that was formerly contaminated during the derailment from Norfolk Southern. The water would be treated at the village's waste water treatment plan again before being released.
The goal would be to reduce the amount of traffic at the derailment site, reducing the environmental impact of the site clean up.
Conaway says they are only considering this proposal and have no concrete plans to vote on this matter any time soon.