By Courtney Kerrigan
BARBERTON: An income tax increase is slated for the November 5 election as Barberton City Council members unanimously passed a .25 percent increase to be placed on the ballot.
If passed in the general election, the city’s income tax will increase from 2 percent to 2.25 percent, providing funds for roadway reconstruction and resurfacing of streets and alleys.
“With the school levy increasing property tax nobody wants to pay more income tax, but we need it,” Mayor Bill Judge said, adding that both Mogadore and Coshocton have successfully implemented an income tax increase. “So we thought of a better way to get money into an earmarked account for paving.”
The increase would generate $1.3 million a year, which could pave about five miles of road a year. The city currently spends about $250,000 a year for one mile of paving.
Judge said the money would not go toward hiring of employees or staff salaries but instead focus on full depth paving of roads, curbs, sidewalks, flooding maintenance and other road repairs.
“It’s the single most valuable thing we can do for our city,” said Elwood Palmer, Director of Public Service.
The average Barberton resident with an income of $35,000 would pay an additional $87.50 a year with a .25 percent income tax increase. A similar tax increase of .5 percent failed 59.7 to 43.3 in 2005.
City Council members also approved a charter amendment for the City of Barberton that would allow the Civil Service Commission to adopt powers related to Home Rule. The provision will be placed on the September 10 ballot.
If passed it would allow the commission to adopt rules and regulations different from those established by the Ohio Revised Code so long as the rules are approved by City Council.