From reading the public's perception of the Westerville income tax changes that will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, many are confused. By voting for the "tax increase," it will actually result in reduced taxes for the majority of Westerville residents.

To the editor:

From reading the public's perception of the Westerville income tax changes that will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, many are confused. By voting for the "tax increase," it will actually result in reduced taxes for the majority of Westerville residents.

This is not a tax hike as is portrayed by some, but rather a tax reduction. Currently, all those living in Westerville and working elsewhere pay 2.3 percent in total city taxes. By voting for the "tax hike," these folks would see their taxes drop to 2 percent.

All the income tax change will do is bring parity to Westerville's residents where there is none today. I may be paying 2.3 percent in total city taxes because I am employed in Columbus while my neighbor, who is employed within the city limits, pays just 1.25 percent. There is no sense of fairness found in this inequality.

The greatest opposition seems to be coming from the local real-estate employees, CPAs and a few others who are confusing the issue by stating that it's a tax increase. Well it is only for them, but it is a tax decrease for the majority of Westerville residents. So like many things in government, if you want a tax decrease, vote for the tax increase on Nov. 4.

John Belt

Westerville

To the editor:

I'm writing in response to a recent letter that stated the "tax plan is not fair for everyone." I beg to differ!

What's not fair is having two-thirds of Westerville residents paying a tax rate that's almost twice as high as the Westerville residents who happen to be fortunate enough to work in Westerville. Many of us pay 2.3 percent for local taxes while resident workers only pay 1.25 percent.

In other words, two out of three Westerville residents pay 84 percent more in local taxes than some of their neighbors. Think about how fair that is.

The writer seems to think if the tax passes, someone who lives in Westerville but works in another city will somehow be getting a free ride when using Westerville services because they won't be paying for them. I've lived in this community for almost 20 years and have paid something we call a property tax. His assertion would be like me saying five-year residents don't have as much right to our community as I do.

How about this: Maybe the person living and working in Westerville should pay the highest tax rate. After all, I'm somewhere else for 40 or more hours a week, using other community roads, trails, sewer, etc. But the person working and living in Westerville uses more Westerville resources than I do. Isn't it logical that they should pay more for greater use? After all, I can't use the bike trails Monday through Friday until after 5 p.m.

I urge every Westerville resident who works in another community to get to the polls in November and vote for this tax because in the end, we'll all be paying the same 2-percent tax rate.

If we fail to vote for the proposed tax, the city will lose out on $8-million in revenue. If that happens, who do you think they'll look to when trying to make up that lost revenue? You and me!

Brian Ahearn

Westerville