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MUNROE FALLS -- The time is fast approaching for voters to decide if they will support two tax increases.
Issue 4 on the May 2 ballot is a proposed increase in the city's local income tax rate from 2 percent to 2.25 percent. City officials estimate it will raise about $276,000 annually in additional revenue. Because of the city's 100 percent income tax credit, Munroe Falls residents paying a local tax of 2.25 percent or more to another community that they work in would not see a tax increase while those paying a rate of less than 2 percent to another community would pay the difference between the two tax rates.
Issue 5 is a 2.8-mill, five year police levy to pay for such police-related expenses as salaries, vehicle and equipment purchases and maintenance and building maintenance costs. City officials say it is projected to raise about $300,000 annually and would cost homeowners a little under $100 annually per $100,000 in market value.
Voters rejected both issues on the general election ballot in November. They approved a 2-mill, 10-year capital improvements levy, projected to raise about $214,000 annually specifically for road maintenance.
City officials have said that the police levy and the income tax increase are both needed to relieve pressure on the city's general fund, which has been running deficits in recent years. The fund's cash reserves were nearly $2 million at the end of 2014, were down to about $1.36 million at the end of 2016 and are projected to be about $1.03 million at the end of this year.
Mayor James Armstrong said cuts have already been made in recent years, including staffing, and there is little else to cut. He has also said that if voters continue to reject the police levy in particular, it would eventually lead to shutting down the police department and contracting out policing.
Armstrong has said that if approved, the income tax increase would put the city on par with some other area communities, including Akron. He has also said that if the police levy is approved, Munroe Falls property owners will still have one of the lowest city property tax rates in the area.
The polling location for voters living in Ward 1 and in Ward 2's A Precinct is Kimpton Middle School, 380 North River Road. The polling location for voters living in Ward 2's Precinct B and in Ward 3 is Twin Falls United Methodist Church, 60 North River Road.
Polling locations open and 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
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