Residential roads in need of repair and a crumbling pedestrian tunnel are some of the infrastructure improvements city of Powell leaders say will be made if voters pass an income tax increase.
Voters will get to decide on Nov. 6.
Voters are being asked to consider raising the income tax from .75 percent to 1.15 percent. The city said right now Powell has one of the lowest income tax rates in central Ohio.
Brenton Meininger often spends his lunch break at Powell’s Adventure Park.
“I usually spend my afternoons or try to get up from the desk, walk around,” he said.
One thing not perfect in the park is the makeshift fix to a pedestrian tunnel that’s seen better days.
“You see plywood and then falling cement. I definitely think it’s something that’s a safety concern and also kind of an eyesore for such a beautiful area,” he said.
The city of Powell said if voters approve the November income tax proposal the tunnel and many residential streets, among other things, will get needed repairs.
“There’s scaffolding currently up because there really are no funds to repair it in the way it needs to be repaired,” said Powell Communication Director Megan Canavan.
Canavan said an 18-person task force made up of Powell residents from all walks of life found a $2 million per year shortfall for infrastructure funding.
“What all three committees concluded is that the city has had about a $567,000 deduction in the total revenue sources over the last decade or so from the elimination of the estate tax and also the local government fund has been reduced as well.”
If approved, it would be the first income tax increase in 27 years. The city said at 1.15 percent it would still be well below Columbus.
“Most of our neighboring suburban communities are somewhere around the 2 percent to 2 1/2 percent income tax rate, for example, the city of Columbus is 2 1/2 percent.”
Powell residents rejected a similar measure back in 2010.
The ballot issue also calls for increasing the credit from .25 percent to .5 percent for people who live in Powell but work outside of the city.