By Sue Botos
A .5 percent income tax increase city officilas hoped would raise about $2 million annually for the city has been turned down by voters 2,752 to 2,681 according to an unofficial final tally from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Income from the tax was to be used for equipment purchases and other capital improvements which used to be covered by the estate tax, discontinued by the state last year.
Mayor Pam Bobst has stated that $2 million must now be cut from other parts of the 2014 budget, but will not be taken from services directly affecting residents. Areas most likely to be trimmed include personnel, programs such as street paving and equipment purchase.
The city has not seen an income tax increase since 1977. Had the measure passed, a resident making $50,000 would have paid an additional $250 annually.
The city will continue to explore collaboration and the securing of grants for city projects, including about $80 million worth of federal and state mandated EPA sewer work.