Middletown council places income tax increase for streets on November ballot

One issue that nearly everyone in Middletown agrees on is the condition of city streets.

Voters will have the opportunity on Nov. 3 to decide if they want to add 0.25% to the city’s income tax rate for 10 years that would be dedicated solely to street and road repairs and resurfacing.

If voters approve the income tax hike, it would generate about $3 million per year in additional revenues for streets.

ExploreMiddletown considering asking voters for income tax increase

Middletown City Council approved an emergency ordinance 4-1 Tuesday to place the question on the November general election ballot. Mayor Nicole Condrey voted against the proposal. Susan Cohen, administrative services director, said the city had until Aug. 5 to submit the question to the Butler County Board of Elections to place it on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Condrey said she wanted to push placing a ballot issue to the May 2021 primary election citing the economy. She also felt that council was moving too quickly and that more discussion was needed before going to the voters.

“I just feel we waited until the last minute,” Condrey said.

Vice Mayor Joe Mulligan pointed out that he brought the topic up in February but council had more pressing issues to address such as coronavirus COVID-19 and hiring a new city manager.

Councilwoman Ami Vitori said there is enough time to educate voters on the need for the income tax increase. Vitori said more voters will come to the polls because it is a presidential election year.

“We’re deciding to let them make their voices heard,” she said.

Councilwoman Monica Nenni said she told voters when she ran for election last year that she would give them the opportunity to vote on the streets issue.

Resident and former council candidate Levi Cramer spoke in opposition saying that council was out of touch with the city and was “almost offensive.”

“We have families who have to decide to be one-income families,” Cramer said. “There are far more options to consider. I think you should delay this decision.”

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