Marysville city council members voted unanimously Thursday night to place an issue on the May ballot that, if approved by voters, would raise the city's municipal income tax rate.

Marysville city council members voted unanimously Thursday night to place an issue on the May ballot that, if approved by voters, would raise the city's municipal income tax rate.

Introduced last month, the resolution was formally approved 6-0 Thursday following three readings and a public hearing.

If voters approve the issue, Mary-sville's income tax would increase from 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent, the same increase voters narrowly defeated Nov. 3.

Improvements to city services that could be accomplished with the additional $4.1-million in new annual revenue include a new fire station north of the railroad tracks to reduce response times, and the refurbishing of the city's existing fire station and police facilities, city leaders have said.

The resolution to place the income tax increase on the May ballot is identical to that used for the November election, except for date changes - however, the possibility for changes to its wording is still open.

Council President John Gore said the city will host two public meetings next month to gather more community input.

"We've heard a lot from those who live in Marysville but work elsewhere, that they would be interested in a commuter tax credit (as part of the increase), but we've heard very little from those who both live and work in Marysville on what they think," Gore said.

To see where residents stand on the idea of commuter tax credits, two meetings have been scheduled for January, according to Gore. There will be a meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Union County Services Center, 940 London Ave, for Wards 2 and 3. A second meeting will take place for Wards 1 and 4 on Jan. 20 at the same time and place.

"We want this to be a public discussion over commuter credits," Gore said. "If it's determined we need to make accompanying legislation (for the approved resolution), we will be able to address this after the first of the year."

City leaders have projected that if approved, a 0.5-percent increase to Marysville's municipal income tax would raise an additional $4.1-million annually. To the typical Marysville resident, this would mean an additional $5 for every $1,000 of earned income. For example, a resident earning $50,000 would pay an additional $250 a year.

If approved by voters on the May 4, 2010 ballot, the rate increase would be effective July 1, 2010, according to the resolution.

As a tax on earned income, retired residents and those on fixed incomes would not be affected by the increase. All Social Security, company pensions, dividends and interest income would continue to be exempt from the city's income tax.

Out of a total of 5,396 votes cast in the November election, Marysville's municipal income tax increase was voted down by only 104 votes.

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