GAHANNA, Ohio (WCMH) — Voters in Gahanna are deciding a proposed increase in the city’s income tax rate Tuesday. Issue 12 calls for the tax rate to go up from 1.5 to 2.5 percent.
The ballot issue would also increase the income tax credit from 83.33 to 100 percent for residents who work in another city and pay municipal taxes elsewhere.
If approved, 75 percent of the estimated $9 million generated would be dedicated for capital improvements for public safety, parks, facilities, streets, buildings, trails and playground equipment.
The other 25 percent would fund operations for public safety, public service, parks and recreational programming among other things.
Voters have previously rejected proposed increases in the income tax rate but Carrie Wester, who worked on the Issue 12 campaign this year, believes they made a compelling case.
“It’s not just community needs with safety and roads and all that but its quality of life wants,” Wester said. “That’s why people stay in a community. They want parks. They want programs for their kids. They want schools that have safe schools with officer presence.”
Outside a polling place in Gahanna, resident Jerry Kraus says he’s still not sold.
“They keep coming back to us time after time with the same tax increase and we keep voting it down,” Kraus said. “I feel like I don’t have all the information I need to know to make a clear choice that, yes I want to pay or I want to increase my taxes.”
Longtime Gahanna resident Gale Cornute says she voted in favor of the increase.
“It’s time for improvement and we need money to do that and I know a lot of people don’t want to do that but that’s reality,” Cornute said. “How are we going to fix that if we don’t have the income?”
Gahanna also has a mayoral primary. Mayor Tom Kneeland is not seeking reelection. There are three candidates on the ballot – Laurie Jadwin, Ryan Jolley and Stephen Renner.
The top two finishers will face off in the November general election.