FAIRBORN — Fairborn city officials are hosting citizens forums to explain the proposed income tax increase that voters will decide on during the Tuesday, March 17 Primary Election.
The citizens forums are slated for 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at the Fairborn United Methodist Church, 100 N. Broad St.; and 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 3 at the Fairborn Senior Center, 325 N. Third St. There, citizens will have the opportunity to ask questions and speak with Fairborn City Manager Rob Anderson and Fairborn Mayor Paul Keller about the proposed income tax increase.
The proposed income tax increase would raise income taxes by .50 percent to generate approximately $4.8 million per year to support police, fire and emergency medical services. If passed, the income tax rate would be in effect for 10 years beginning on Jan. 1, 2020.
The cost of doing business faced by the police and fire departments is on the rise, according to Anderson, with increasing 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 in a previous interview, adding that the last tax increase took place in 2005.
Anderson shared in a previous interview 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 spanning 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.
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. 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.
“We cannot afford to lose [employees] on either side,” Anderson said previously. “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.”
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.
The Primary Election will take place on Tuesday, March 17. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, Feb. 18; visit https://bit.ly/31NfBsl to register to vote. Visit https://bit.ly/2HgUtBf to view a sample ballot of your precinct.