In November, Monroe voters will decide on a 0.50-percent income/earnings tax increase that will be earmarked for public safety and capital improvements. The proposal also includes a provision for a 0.50-percent tax credit for property owners who reside in the city.
The proposed income tax increase would benefit Monroe safety services, parks and infrastructure as well as put more of the burden on non-residents who use city services the most and not on the residents who are already paying property taxes, according to the city.
Here are three things to know about the proposed levy:
1. Increase includes tax credit for residents
Council members said the proposed tax increase puts the burden on nonresidents who use city services the most and not on residents who already pay property taxes. The tax increase request also provides a 0.5 percent income tax credit for Monroe residents own their homes and their dependents would not pay the increased tax.
In addition, Monroe’s income tax applies only to earned income and would not affect retirees.
However, nonresidents and renters would be affected by the 0.50 percent income/earnings tax that would cost $5 for every $1,000 of earnings.
If approved, the tax increase would begin on Jan. 1, 2018.
2. Tax increase addresses areas with most calls for service
City Manager Bill Brock said Monroe property owners will benefit because it will allow the city to address the increased calls for service that is being generated by the growth of businesses along the Ohio 63 corridor as well as be more responsive to the needs of the community and businesses.
Funds generated by the levy will also allow the city to build a new police facility as well as retain seven firefighters that are currently being funded through a $600,000 federal SAFER grant.
In a previous presentation, Brock said calls for service have gone from 1,956 fire runs and 11,996 police calls for service in 2005 to 2,835 fire runs and 24,4662 police calls for service in 2016. Most of these calls are in the business and commercial areas around the Interstate 75/Ohio 63 interchange.
Revenues from the possible income/earnings tax increase earmarks 0.35 percent for public safety services and the remaining 0.15 percent for capital improvements and infrastructure projects such as roads and parks.
3. New revenues cannot be used for other purposes.
City officials said that 100 percent of the new revenues from the income/earnings tax can only be used for public safety, infrastructure, parks and capital improvements.
Officials also said that these credits and allocations cannot be changed without a vote of the people.