Voters in several communities located in Summit, Stark, Portage and Medina counties are being asked to decide on pocketbook issues in Tuesday's election.

Income tax rate increases are being considered in Mogadore, Canal Fulton, Streetsboro, Navarre, Brewster Village and Hartville. Levy issues are on the ballot in Springfield Township and several other communities. Funds raised by increases would affect everything from roads to parks and entertainment.

 

Springfield police

Residents are being asked to approve an additional tax of 1.25 mills for the township police department.

Springfield Township Police Chief Dave Hoover said in a phone interview Monday that his department is in dire need of the additional funding. Hoover said the cost to a homeowner would be small — about $3.65 a month for the owner of a $100,000 house — but it would be a big boost to the department.

“Vacancies have not been filled because of financial need, and we’re down to 12 full-time officers,” he said. “Within the past 25 years, we’ve never had less than 16 full-time officers.”

Dispatch service costs have risen, too. The township contracts with Summit County, and is paying about 7.1 percent more than it did under the previous contract. The department was able to obtain a K-9 officer through fundraisers and donations, but the human officers scramble to respond to the 1,000 to 1,500 calls that come in every month.

“We’re trying to keep up with the calls with the officers we have,” Hoover said.

If residents approve the levy, Hoover said, he’d be able to add to the force and purchase dependable vehicles. It would add about $344,000 to the township's coffers.

 

Mogadore income tax

Mayor Mike Rick said the village has lost significant funding once provided by the state.

“With these cuts through the years,” he said, “we don’t have a so-called rainy day fund.”

Rick said the village police and road departments require updated equipment, with a couple of cruisers over 100,000 miles.

An April 9 meeting with residents provided some measure of optimism that voters will decide in favor of the issue, he said, but he’s prepared to deal with either outcome.

“If they pass it, we will adapt; if they don’t, we will adapt,” he said.

The pressure caused by aging equipment will eventually force the village to purchase replacements, and that could have an effect on personnel at some point. The issue would provide about $350,000 per year, he said.

“That would allow us to keep the personnel that we need and it would allow us to plan … and make purchases when they are needed,” he said.

 

Canal Fulton income tax

Voters in the Stark County city of 5,400 residents will decide on a 0.5 percent income tax increase.

Although the tax rate would rise to 2.0 percent, residents who work in high-tax cities like Akron (2.5 percent rate) would receive a 100 percent credit for the taxes paid outside Canal Fulton. The Stark city currently gives a 50 percent credit for residents who work outside Canal Fulton.

The city estimates the changes would result in lower income tax liability for about two-thirds of its residents who pay city income tax. Revenues are projected to add from $100,000 to $300,000 a year to city coffers. Tax rates for individuals who work in the city but live elsewhere would increase to the new 2.0 percent rate.

If approved, the changes would take effect in January.

 

Other income tax issues

• Navarre voters will be asked to raise the village’s income tax rate 0.25 percent to 1.75 percent. Funds raised by the increase will pay for reconstruction, resurfacing, and repair of streets, alleys, and curbs and gutters. The tax increase would take effect on July 1.

• Brewster Village voters in the village of 2,100 people will be asked to raise the income tax rate from 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent. The additional funding would be used by the village of 2,100 residents for the fire department. If passed, the new rate will take effect in January for the Start County village.

• Hartville voters will have to decide whether to increase the village’s income tax rate 0.5 percent to 2.0 percent. If approved, the increased revenue will be used for operations, capital improvements and expansion of municipal services.

 

Other issues

• Voters in the Portage County city of Streetsboro will decide on a 0.8-mill levy to pay for capital improvements, including a new fire station. The levy would last for 20 years.

• Lakemore voters will have to decide whether to let the village form an opt-out natural gas aggregation. If the issue passes, village officials believe the aggregation will result in savings for the village and its residents.

• Plain Township voters in Stark County are being asked to approve a 1.5-mill levy for parks and recreation. The levy would last for five years.

• Voters in Lake Township in Stark County will decide on a 2-mill levy for parks and recreation. The levy would last for 10 years.

• Roads would get attention if a 5-mill, five-year levy is approved by Perry Township voters in the Stark County community.

• In Medina County, Homer Township voters will decide if the township will renew a levy for roads and bridges and add 2 mills to the existing 2.5-mill levy.