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Government & Politics

Cleveland Councilman Wants an Income Tax Increase for Public Safety

Zack Reed
File photo
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WKSU

Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed is calling for an income tax increase to help fight crime in the city. The city is coming off its’ second year of more than 100 murders, and Reed says something needs to be done to reduce crime. 

  Cleveland’s income tax has been at 2 percent since 1982. Reed wants an extra half-percent, which he says could hire 200 new police officers, buy new law enforcement technology and help pay for police reforms in the city’s agreement with the Justice Department. He says current revenue isn’t enough to cover that.

“Property tax is going down, income tax (revenue) is going up, but it’s not going up in a way that we’re going to be able to find $50 million plus over the next five to seven  years. So we’re going to have to do something anyway.”

Reed says much of the proposed tax increase would be paid by suburban residents who work in the city. Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association President Steve Loomis says the union proposed an income tax increase in 2006 to pay for more officers.  But he says they dropped the idea because they could not guarantee the money would be spent on public safety.