FAIRBORN — Fairborn voters will decide during the March 2020 primary election if they will support an income tax increase to fund police, fire and emergency medical services.
The proposed income tax increase would raise it by .50 percent generating approximately $4.8 million per year.
Income taxes are generated by workers who are employed within the City of Fairborn. If the income tax increase passes, it would impact those who receive a W-2 or 1099 form to file their annual taxes as well as those who generate income with rental properties. It would not impact those who are on a fixed income, such as individuals who operate from a retirement fund, military pay or government assistance.
City Manager Rob Anderson explained that the city includes a population of more than 33,000 individuals and has added approximately 100 new homes per year over the last three years and spans across 16 square miles. He said with the city’s ongoing growth, an income tax increase is necessary to maintain the level of services currently provided by the police and fire departments.
“There is a lot of areas for the police and fire departments to protect,” Anderson said.
The cost of doing business faced by the police and fire departments is also increasing, according to Anderson, with rising prices of equipment and apparatuses, uniforms and personnel costs.
“We’ve been functioning for the last 15 years on the same income without asking for more money,” Anderson said, adding that the last tax increase took place in 2005.
If the levy fails, Fairborn will be unable to fill open positions across the entire city and will have to lay off police and fire personnel to make up for the lost income.
“We cannot afford to lose [employees] on either side,” Anderson said. “A reduction in force will be noticeable. We would have the bare number of police officers [and fire fighters] on the street at any given time. If we lose [those employees], it will be difficult to provide the level of services we do now.”
The income tax rate would be in place for 10 years if passed and would begin on Jan. 1, 2021. Anderson said the city examines and plans the annual budget for the upcoming year during the summer months. Placing the issue on the March ballot allows the city to know whether or not it can count on that income or make alternative plans when officials begin planning the 2021 budget in the summer 2020 months.
Greene County voters will also decide on the March 2020 ballot whether or not they support a sales tax increase that would fund the construction of a new jail. Anderson said Fairborn is not asking voters to decide between one or the other and hopes individuals will see that they are different types of requests.
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.