TALLMADGE — Voters will decide in the fall election if the city income tax rate should be increased by 0.25 percent to provide more money for safety forces.
Council members unanimously voted Thursday to place the issue on the November ballot. If approved, the income tax rate would go from 2% to 2.25% starting Jan. 1, 2020.
The increase would raise an additional $1.4 million annually for the police and fire departments. The money would come from taxable income from those who work in the city. Retired seniors would not be affected.
The funds would go toward acquiring land for a new Fire Station 2 and constructing the facility, estimated at $6 million to $6.5 million. Fire Station 2 would be near the existing facility located at 735 Eastwood Ave. Fire Station 1 is at 85 Overdale Drive.
In addition, the money would also be used to buy a new ladder truck — which would cost $1.1 million and replace one that is 25 years old. Additional funds would be used to make improvements to the two existing fire stations and police department needs.
Each year the city has to transfer more money from its general fund to cover an operating deficit in the fire department. The fire department’s 2019 operating budget is $3.5 million with $1.46 million from the city’s General Fund.
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or email@example.com.