To the Editor:
I am writing to support Issue 17. Having read the many comments that has been written both pro and con, I felt I must write to state a few issues.
I am the former finance director for the city of Gahanna and must state that the need is there for the changes to the tax rate. First of all, the city's leaders knew they would need more income starting in 2009, and that was before the recession and changes the state had made. The council and administration did not want to ask voters to increase the tax until the need was there, as many other cities had done. They have absorbed losses of income from the state's Local Government Fund, estate tax and, particularly, loss of investment earnings. The street department has lost its revenue from fewer vehicles registered in Gahanna and less gasoline tax money as this has continued to decline. The question we must ask is, do we want the Gahanna we have loved or to be just another community?
People who oppose the increase say the city should tighten its belt.
Well, it is about as tight as it can get, without major cuts that affect our quality of life.
While I understand that no one wants to pay more taxes, they have survived for 37 years without an increase.The capital needs are there and must be funded.
It would not be realistic to ask to change only to 2 percent, as some suggest and as other cities did in the 1980s and then have to return to the voters again in a few years.
Please examine all that you have in this city and realize they have been conservative.
I ask that you support this increase and keep Gahanna the city we want it to be.