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Akron's Mayor Is Asking City Council to Put a Tax Hike on the November Ballot

Mayor (left), PD Chief (center), FD Chief (right)
Tim Rudell
Akron Mayor Horrigan (far left)

An income-tax increase is expected to be on the November ballot in Akron.

Mayor Dan Horrigan said today that a quarter-percent hike is needed to ensure adequate support for the city’s safety forces and critical infrastructure.

Akron Fire Station Number 2 before news conference
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Interior of Akron Fire Station Number 2

Fire Station 2 in east Akron is in rough shape. The mayor held a news conference there to make his case, joined by Fire Chief Clarence Tucker and Police Chief James Nice. They gave examples of layers-deep problems people don’t usually think about.

Tucker noted the lack of extractor-washers to get cancer-causing chemicals off firefighter clothing.

“We also don’t want them bringing those same carcinogens into your house when they go to the next emergency call.”

Nice spoke of rusted-out cruisers.

“I kid you not when I say the officers have snow coming up through the floorboards onto their pant legs.”

Horrigan says he will ask City Council next week to approve putting an issue on the November ballot to raise the city income tax from 2.25 to 2.5 percent. That would bring Akron's rate up to the level of Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton. Among Ohio's other large cities, Cincinnati and Toledo and Canton are lower, and Youngstown is higher.  

The mayor says the tax increase will yield  about $16 million for the police and fire departments and for the repair of city streets.