Earned income tax is being considered

MIDDLETOWN TWP. The township has scheduled two public meetings to discuss the possibility of enacting a 1 percent earned income tax next year to make up for lost revenue and maintain municipal services.

The first meeting is Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Middletown Community Center on Trenton Road. The second meeting is scheduled for Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the township's municipal building, off North Flowers Mill Road. A vote to approve next year's budget, and possibly the EIT, is scheduled for Dec. 16.

The township will have a projected $4 million budget deficit next year due to an underperforming investment fund and the increase of health-care and pension costs. Township officials have said an earned income tax would cover the deficit while protecting seniors from a property tax increase.

Forty-four percent of township residents already pay an EIT to outside communities in which they work, paying out about $2.6 million a year. If Middletown enacted its own EIT, that money would be recouped for the township, officials said.

- Ben Finley