The difference between gross income tax and earned income tax


SIDNEY — “With the Primary Election just around the corner,” Bob Guillozet said, “a number of people have asked me the difference between an Earned Income Tax and a Gross Income Tax. I thought it was important to stress the difference.” Shelby County Commissioner Guillozet is serving as chairman of Sidney’s ½% Earned Income Tax Levy Campaign.

“The differences between gross income and earned income are especially important to understand in relation to this levy,” Guillozet said. “Gross income is everything that an individual earns during one year as a worker and as an investor. Earned income includes only wages, commissions, bonuses, and business income minus expenses, if the person is self-employed.”

“For example, earned income does not include pension benefits, welfare benefits, annuity income, and Social Security benefits.” Guillozet said. “That’s an important distinction.”

“I think another important factor for Sidney’s voters is that more than 12,000 people come into Sidney every day to work,” Guillozet said. “Because I live in Sidney, I will automatically pay the tax on my salary as a County Commissioner. Both Commissioners Tony Bornhorst and Julie Ehemann, who live in rural Shelby County, will also pay the tax, because they come to work every day in Sidney.”

“I think it’s also important to stress that the levy will be used for city operations,” Sidney’s Vice Mayor and Campaign Co-Chair Steve Wagner stated. “It will be used for repair and maintenance of streets and bridges. It will be used for improvements to our parks. It will add four additional firefighters and paramedics per shift – enough personnel for the staffing of an additional medic unit. It will add two additional police officers per shift. As the city continues to grow, we need to have the funds to sustain that growth.”

“I’ve been involved in city government for a long time,” Sidney Mayor and Campaign Co-Chair Mike Barhorst stated. “In 2010, the unfunded requests totaled $7,042,350,” Barhorst stated. “Just five years later, the unfunded requests had grown to $33,166,500. This year, those requests have grown to $58,867,603. With the .125% Five-Year Street Levy expiring at the end of 2024, voters need to understand that if we are going to continue to provide the services they expect, we need their help.”

The voter registration deadline for this year’s Primary Election is February 20. Anyone who will turn 18 before March 19 is eligible to register to vote.

Absentee voting by mail begins Feb. 21. In-person early voting for this year’s Primary Election begins Feb. 21, and continues daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Shelby County Board of Elections will also be open Saturday, March 9, and Saturday, March 16, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., and on Sunday, March 17 from 1 until 5 p.m. for in-person early voting.

“There is no question that Sidney is moving forward in dramatic ways,” Barhorst said. “I would encourage our residents to demonstrate their approval of that forward progress by voting for this essential issue.”

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