DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A proposed increase from 2 percent to 2.5 percent would be the city of Cleveland's first income tax increase in 35 years.
Mayor Frank Jackson says this isn't something he wants to do, but something he has to do.
The half a percent hike would generate more than 80 million additional dollars annually. More than 80 percent of it would come from suburbanites who work in Cleveland but don't get to vote on the issue.
The mayor says passing the increase will allow the city to be structurally balanced, filling the gap in a more than $40 million deficit they're facing, plus allow for the hiring of more police officers, fulfill their obligation with the consent decree, and improve the job the city is doing on things like potholes, street clearing, vacant lots, and garbage collection.
"A failure to have the half a percent income tax increase will result in a 40 something million dollar deficit next year that will result in layoffs, safety layoffs in other areas of city services, which will mean reduction of services," Jackson said. "In some cases, elimination of service."
The proposed tax increase is Issue 32 on the Nov. 8 ballot.
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