Akron's proposed tax hike to help fund police body cameras

Posted at 7:03 PM, Oct 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 19:03:33-04

The city of Akron revealed more details on a proposed tax hike on the November ballot.

The 0.25% income tax increase will mean Akron police, Akron fire and roadways will each get more than $5 million dollars a year each.

Last month, Akron Police launched its body camera program. Police Chief Ken Ball said about $360,000 from a federal grant will help fund the bill. But the five year program is set to cost more than $1 million.

"So the city is excepting $630,000 of responsibility in the next five years to be able to continue our program," said Chief Ball.

Ellen Lander Nischt, the press secretary for Mayor Dan Horrigan, confirmed that the city is hoping some of the funding comes from the tax hike. 
“I think that obviously we are on the taxpayer, the city of Akron to and from that standpoint,” said Chief Ball. “It's important for me for my family to feel safe in our neighborhood.”He says the goal is to be transparent.
“For us to be able to trust a word that the police are doing and know that that's an integral part of a healthy community, so I welcome that burden,” said Ball.

If voters do not end up voting for the tax hike, Nischt said the mayor is committed to maintaining the body-worn camera program, regardless of the outcome.
“If we are unable to raise additional funds to pay for that and for some of that money somewhere, we’re going to have to make difficult decisions about where that money comes from," she said.She added it will then most likely come from the city's general fund.

The proposed tax hike, also known as Issue 4, would also fund several dilapidated fire stations, about 60 police cars and 40 additional miles of Akron’s roadways

So how will this affect your taxes? A person who works in Akron and makes about $50,000 a year will see their taxes go up by about $110 annually.