Upper Arlington City Council will open hearings Monday, June 23, to discuss a possible income tax increase.

Upper Arlington City Council will open hearings Monday, June 23, to discuss a possible income tax increase.

Council is expected to hold a total of three public meetings to discuss whether a 0.5-percent income tax increase should be proposed on the Nov. 4 ballot.

In addition to June 23, public hearings on the proposal are scheduled at council's July 7 and July 14 meetings. Each of the three meetings is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road.

Should council agree to support a ballot issue to increase Upper Arlington's income tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent, as recommended by the city's Citizen Financial Review Task Force, it must pass a local ordinance at least 30 days prior to the Aug. 6 deadline for filing with the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Upper Arlington Mayor and Council President Don Leach said last week council will consider the income tax proposal, take public comment, and also discuss other options for increasing city revenue.

On June 5, the council-appointed Citizen Financial Review Task Force recommended the half-percent income tax increase, stating it would generate approximately $3.5 million in new revenue each year.

In addition to filling a nearly $6-million loss in annual revenue due to the elimination of Ohio's estate tax and cuts to the Ohio Local Government Fund, the task force concluded the increased income tax would provide added financial resources to address the city's capital improvement needs.

According to the Upper Arlington Engineering Division, the city should spend $113 million over the next 10 years to upgrade or replace decaying streets, storm water systems and other infrastructure.

"The meetings are meetings at which council will be reviewing the task force and deciding whether to adopt the recommendation, or whether another option should be sought," Leach said. "Council has been wrestling with this issue for several years."

Additional information about the upcoming council meetings and issues to be discussed will be posted on the city of Upper Arlington's website at www.uaoh.net.