To the Editor:
I would like to make a few comments about the proposed income-tax increase for the city of Gahanna.
The proposal is to raise the tax percentage from 1.5 to 2.5 percent -- a 67-percent increase in the tax rate.
Let's look at Columbus in comparison, a city with a 2.5-percent income tax. What do residents of Columbus get for that extra 1 percentage point?
People who live and work in Columbus get fire and emergency protection as a part of their income tax. Mifflin Township provides our fire and emergency services. Fire departments are extremely expensive and necessarily so. I pay $854 per year to Mifflin Township for fire and emergency protection (part of the property tax I pay each year).
People who live and work in Columbus get free refuse and recycling. I pay $190 per year for refuse and recycling. It's part of my quarterly water bill.
So someone living in my house and working in Gahanna, making $50,000, would pay $750 in income tax at the current 1.5-percent rate, $854 for fire and emergency and $190 for refuse and recycling, totaling $1,794 this year. That person would be paying an equivalent tax rate of 3.59 percent for these three items. That is 1.09 percentage points more than Columbus residents and workers pay.
The Gahanna mayor and most of City Council are proposing that we increase our taxes by 67 percent. That would be a yearly cost of $1,250 in income tax (at the proposed 2.5 percent), $854 for fire and emergency and $190 for refuse and recycling. That is a 4.59-percent equivalent rate for the income tax and fire protection and refuse collection.
Shouldn't Gahanna be able to manage its finances at least as well as Columbus?