Macedonia — Even though two 0.25 percent income tax increase proposals were rejected by voters in November, Mayor Joe Migliorini is proposing a return to the ballot in May. This time, the city would ask voters to approve a permanent 0.5 percent income tax increase to be devoted solely to the city's roads.
If approved by voters in the May 2 primary election, the increase would bring in an additional $2 million a year to the city, according to Finance Director Rhonda Hall.
The city's income tax rate currently is 2 percent. When a 0.25 percent income tax that has been earmarked for the recreation center expires in July, the city's income tax rate would drop to 1.75 percent. If approved by voters, the 0.5 percent income tax increase would raise the city's income tax rate to 2.25 percent, Hall said.
The issue was on first reading at the Jan. 12 City Council meeting. It must be approved by Council and submitted to the Summit County Board of Elections by Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. in order to appear on the May 2 ballot.
Migliorini said Jan. 12 that raising the income tax rate for the city is essential because "if we don't do something, our community will fall apart."
"People will choose to move to other communities. I see no other way" other than raising the income tax rate, he said. "Council must be unified and support this."
Migliorini said he originally considered asking for a 0.25 percent increase, but said he felt "that was short-sighted on my part."
Migliorini said he and Hall "went over the figures again. The picture is doom and gloom. A one-quarter of a percent increase does not solve our problem."
At the special finance committee meeting Jan. 10, Migliorini also discussed the roads.
"How are we going to get the money to fix the roads?" he said. "The bottom line is, you have roads that are reaching such deterioration. What do we do?"
He said city's roads are "falling apart" because the city needs to seal them after each winter.
"If you don't seal them, they start to deteriorate, and every winter they get worse," he said. "So we have to have a good maintenance program in place."
For more on this story, see the Jan. 18 edition of the News Leader.