Gahanna voters have said yes to Issue 12, changing the city’s income-tax rate from 1.5% to 2.5% and increasing the tax credit from 83.33% to 100% for those who pay municipal taxes elsewhere, according to unofficial results Tuesday, May 7.
Based on poll runners from the citizens group, Gahanna Residents Improving Tomorrow, which supported the issue, the tax passed 5,895 votes to 1,417 votes, or 81% to 19%, according to unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Carrin Wester, chairwoman of the Issue 12 campaign and member of GRIT, said this was an opportunity to invest in the community.
“We’re thrilled,” she said. “I’m so proud of this group of residents who came together and put in hours.”
Wester said the goal of the citizen-led group was to inform voters so they could make a good decision and show that passage of Issue 12 would benefit residents of Gahanna.
“I think we did a good job of it,” she said. “People worked hard for Issue 29 (last November) and put in a lot of hours and it fell short. They started it, and we finished it.”
Wester said the big win demonstrates Gahanna residents sending a message that they’re sick of the negatively.
“With this margin, it shows things are changing for the better,” Wester said. “We were able to do it with residents from every ward who came together. It was a total team effort. I can’t be prouder of this team.”
She said GRIT has a steering committee of 12 and more than 150 volunteers.
“Everyone played a part,” Wester said. “It was huge team effort.”
She said residents would be able to see the benefits of Issue 12 in the areas of public safety; repairs and replacement of streets, bridges and curbs; and parks and recreation programming and park facilities, to name a few.
Seventy-five percent of the revenue resulting from the increase will be dedicated for capital improvements and equipment for infrastructure, public safety, municipal facilities or parks and recreation, including but not limited to streets, buildings, parks facilities, trails and playground elements, maintenance and repair of the equipment and paying debt service for such purposes.
The other 25% will fund operations for public safety, public service or parks and recreation, including but not limited to police protection, 911 emergency services, snow removal, streetlight and traffic-signal maintenance and recreation programs.
Issue 12 is estimated to generate about $9 million annually once it is fully implemented and assuming 100% compliance, Councilman Michael Schnetzer said.