FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Fairborn city officials are asking residents to approve the city’s first income tax increase in 15 years.
According to Rob Anderson, city manager, the money would be used to help fund Fairborn’s police and fire departments, which are currently understaffed.
The 0.5 percent income tax increase would affect people who live or work in Fairborn, Anderson said.
Before the income tax increase appears on the March ballot, city officials are hosting public meetings to answer questions about the proposal.
At a meeting Monday night, Fairborn fire officials said they run as many as 15 to 18 calls per day.
“One time I fell and was injured and I had to go to the hospital, and they were so compassionate and so caring,” said Sharon Knepp, whose husband serves on Fairborn’s city council.
But right now, the city does not have the money to fill open positions in the police and fire departments, Anderson said.
“We’re about ten police officers below the national average for a city our size,” he said.
The departments are now forced to work with a reduced staff or obtain more money from taxpayers, Anderson said.
City officials felt it was more fair to receive that funding through an income tax increase than a property tax levy, he added.
“Anybody that’s on retirement, disability, military pay will not be burdened by additional taxes,” Anderson explained. “It also is a way for us to tax folks who maybe utilize our services during the day but don’t live here and have no other way to pay the tax.”
Fairborn is proposing an income tax increase of 0.5 percent, bringing the city rate up from 1.5 percent to 2 percent. It would last 10 years and generate $4.8 million annually, Anderson said.
The money from the increase would go only to the police and fire department funds, he added.
For someone making a $45,000 income, the city’s average, the income tax increase would be roughly $17 per month, Anderson said.
“If things pass in March, we’ll fill the current positions and look to grow our police and fire staffs appropriately,” he said.
If the income tax increase fails, it would likely be placed on the ballot again next year, Anderson said.
City officials are hosting three more public meetings on the proposal:
- February 4: Fairborn Senior Center, 6 p.m.
- February 13: Fairborn United Methodist Church, 6 p.m.
- March 3: Fairborn Senior Center, 6 p.m.
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