RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN)– Riverside Police and Fire are asking for the public’s assistance to pass Issue #9 on the November ballot.
Issue #9 is a proposed tax income increase as well as a credit increase, but in return, nearly half of Riverside residents will end up paying less to the city. Ultimately, the goal is the tax and credit increase will generate $3 million for Riverside’s police and fire.
“Revenue we receive from the community directly impacts the level of service we can give to residents,” said Interim City Manager Chris Lohr. “So the additional revenue allows us to expand the level of police and fire services that we can provide.”
If residents vote to increase the income tax from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent and at the same time increase the income tax credit from 50 percent to 100 percent, most residents will end up paying less in taxes to Riverside.
Income tax credit is currently 50 percent, so if a resident works in the city of Dayton but lives in Riverside, they will pay 2.5 percent to Dayton plus an additional small percentage to Riverside. If the credit increases to 100 percent, a Riverside resident who works in Dayton will only have to pay the 2.5 percent income tax to Dayton and nothing to Riverside. The $3 million in revenue will be generated from anyone who works in Riverside, they will pay that 1 percent increase.
Riverside Fire Department’s chief said they’re currently relying on nearby stations to help respond when they can’t. He said right now they have 19 full-time and 20 part-time firefighters when they should have at least 50 full-time. However, if this passes, that will change.
“11 people will be on duty a day and when you do the math, we’ll have about 32 people full-time,” said Riverside Fire Department Fire Chief Daniel Stitzel. “We still have to keep part-time people to maintain that 11 people a day, this won’t be enough to transition to a full-time fire department but it will get us really close.”
Riverside’s Police and Fire said this proposal is a win-win for everyone. Not only will they be able to hire 14 more full-time firefighters and 3 police officers, but also 45 percent of residents will pay the same or less in taxes.
“We’ve done everything we can to make the part time program work and do more with less and we’re at the point we can’t do anymore,” said Chief Stitzel. “It has to come to this, the city needs a full time fire department and police officers and this is the only way we’ll be able to get to it.”
Residents who live on a pension or social security will not pay a dime. Issue #9 will be on the ballot in November.