When Marysville City Council members voted to place a municipal income tax increase on the Nov. 3 ballot, they knew it might be a tough sell during a tight economy.

When Marysville City Council members voted to place a municipal income tax increase on the Nov. 3 ballot, they knew it might be a tough sell during a tight economy.

But, at the request of Mayor Chris Schmenk, council members decided to address what she called "serious deficiencies" in the city's safety service facilities.

Schmenk says the campaign has focused on making sure voters understand the stakes when they cast ballots Tuesday.

"It is about the very safety of our families and our neighborhoods," she said.

On Tuesday, city voters are being asked to approve an increase in the city income tax from 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent to fund new police, fire/EMS and municipal court facilities.

If approved by voters, the income tax increase will raise approximately $4.1-million annually in new revenues.

The levy is designed to pay for:

A new fire station north of the railroad tracks that would reduce response times, which often exceed the nationally recommended standard of five minutes;

Refurbishing the existing fire station that wasz built in 1934 and expanded in 1973;

Nine additional firefighters and maintain current police staffing levels;

A new combined police station and municipal court facility to replace the current building that was built in 1937;

And help maintain current levels of city services including police protection, street and sidewalk repair, street lighting and snow removal.

Schmenk said more than 100 Marysville citizens, including neighborhood activists, mothers, senior citizens, business and community leaders have joined Citizens For Marysville, a grassroots campaign committee, to promote the passage of the income tax issue.

"They learned the facts and quickly understood that under the current circumstances, our firefighters and paramedics often cannot reach a person or child within the critical 5-minute window of time," Schmenk said. "That can make the difference when responding to an emergency situation to save a life."

"The nationally recommended standard for fire and EMS service response time is five minutes," Schmenk said. "But because the city of Marysville has only one fire station to serve 16.4 square miles, and because the railroad tracks divide the city in half and can hold up traffic, the fire department's response time exceeds the 5-minute standard more than one third of the time."

If voters approve the proposed income tax issue, a second fire station will be built north of the railroad tracks and nine additional firefighters will be added to staff that station.

City Administrator Jillian Froment said the proposed income tax issue would cost Marysville residents an additional $5 for every $1,000 of earned income.

"A person making $50,000 annually would pay an additional $250 a year, or $21 a month," Froment said. "That's less than 75 cents a day to help keep Marysville safe and strong."

Froment said retirees and those on fixed incomes would not be impacted financially by the income tax plan.

"Social security, pensions, dividends and interest income would continue to be exempt from the local income tax," she said.