Income taxes are going up in Barberton, Kent and Peninsula.
Down in Twinsburg.
And they’re staying the same in Stow.
Several Akron-area communities decided income tax issues Tuesday, including a proposed 0.25 percent increase in Stow to hire additional police officers and a proposed tax repeal in Twinsburg.
In Stow, voters overwhelmingly shot down the proposed increase, with nearly 68 percent rejecting the measure. It would have boosted the city income tax rate to 2.25 percent.
Stow officials had promised to use the additional $1.7 million to hire 11 police officers and strengthen its police department.
Mayor Sara Drew had argued that comparable cities had better staffed departments and the new money would allow the city to boost the police presence in school buildings.
She was disappointed in the result, but said she respects the wishes of the voters.
“Our police department continues to give outstanding service to the city and we will continue to work hard,” Drew said. “We will have to take another look at ways to solve our staffing problems because they do remain.”
Several voters interviewed outside a polling location at Lakeview Intermediate School on Graham Road said they weren’t convinced that the city would actually use all the money for police protection. They feared money would be siphoned away for other efforts.
“Taxes are high enough as is,” said Jonathan Loresch, 57, an electrical engineer.
But David S. Finch, 73, who is retired and served in the U.S. Air Force, said he voted in favor of the measure for a couple of reasons, including the fact that he was in the Air Police and supports law enforcement.
He also liked the fact that it would have added police officers to school buildings.
“It makes sense to be proactive,” he said.
In Twinsburg, voters got a chance to lower the tax rate and, to no one’s surprise, they did.
More than 86 percent approved repealing a 0.25 percent hike that was approved in 2009 to help the city weather the closing of the Chrysler Stamping Plant.
The city tax rate will return to 2 percent.
The repeal had the support of Twinsburg leaders. The city’s coffers hardly felt Chrysler’s departure thanks to several businesses expanding or moving into town in the past four years, including the Cleveland Clinic’s Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center.
The city also had built up a $25 million carryover.
In Kent, a proposed 0.25 percent increase passed with 57 percent of the vote.
City officials plan to use the extra revenue to replace the 89-year-old Safety Administration Building. Voters had rejected the idea last year.
The city estimated it would cost about $18 million to replace the current building at Water Street and Haymaker Parkway.
The increase will generate about $1.2 million annually for a bond payment. Officials estimate the tax would be needed for about 25 years.
In Barberton, a proposed 0.25 percent increase passed with 54 percent of the vote.
The city estimated the income tax hike will raise about $1.3 million a year and will be used for road improvements.
In Peninsula, voters agreed to double the income tax rate to 2 percent.
The issue passed with 54 percent of the vote. It was the fourth time the issue appeared on the ballot.
The increase will raise about $180,000 per year to help village operations.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.