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Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announces income tax hike proposal

Posted at 9:17 PM, Jun 21, 2017

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced a proposal for a quarter-percent income tax hike on Thursday morning.

If approved by city council, a levy would be placed on the November ballot.

Police, fire and Emergency Medical Services, and streets would each get about one-third of the funding. The income tax increase would pay for more than 60 new police and detective cars, two new fire stations, 43 miles of repaved roads and data storage for police body cameras. 

During a news conference at Akron Fire Station No. 2 on East Exchange Street, Horrigan said the increase is essential to support safety services and improve roads that are in "deplorable shape."

"It has been 36 years since our last income tax increase for essential city services, and as we seek to grow our population and revitalize our neighborhoods, our city needs and deserves this funding," Horrigan said. "The time is now."

Akron's income tax rate has been 2.25% since 2004. The increase would boost it to 2.5%, making it consistent with cities like Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton. The raise in the tax would be equal to $1.68 per week for a resident earning Akron's median income of $35,000.

Horrigan said his plan would generate $16 million per year for the city.

Councilwoman Tara Mosley-Samples said she supports the proposal, as do Police Chief James Nice and Fire Chief Clarence Tucker.

The mayor says the tax increase will only apply to income earned at a job; it will not affect retirement or pension income, social security or other government benefits. Two-thirds of the funds earned through income tax is paid by commuters who work in Akron but live elsewhere.

The legislation will be introduced to City Council on Monday, June 26.