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Barberton asks voters to hike income tax

By Courtney Kerrigan
Special to the Beacon Journal

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BARBERTON: The City Council has opted to ask voters to increase Barberton’s income tax rate to help pay for road improvements.

The council voted unanimously Monday to put a proposal on the Nov. 5 ballot to raise the rate from 2 percent to 2.25 percent.

Officials said the money would be used for road projects and resurfacing efforts.

“With the school levy increasing property tax, nobody wants to pay more income tax, but we need it,” Barberton Mayor Bill Judge said.

Officials estimate the income tax hike would raise about $1.3 million a year. That would translate into about five miles of road improvements a year.

The city currently spends about $250,000 a year for one mile of paving.

Judge said the money would not go toward hiring of employees or staff salaries, but instead be used solely for the full-depth paving of roads, curbs, sidewalks, flood prevention efforts and other repairs.

“It’s the single most valuable thing we can do for our city,” said Elwood Palmer, Barberton’s director of public service.

The last time Barberton voters were asked to raise the income tax rate was in 2005. The measure was soundly defeated.

In other business, the council also voted to place a charter amendment on the September primary ballot that would allow the city’s Civil Service Commission to adopt powers related to Home Rule.

The change, if passed, would allow the commission to adopt rules and regulations different from those established by the Ohio Revised Code as long as the rules are approved by the City Council.


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