May 4 ballot: Powell will put income-tax increase before voters

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek

The city of Powell will place an income-tax issue on the May 4 ballot.

City Council approved a resolution Jan. 19 to place the issue before voters.

The measure would raise the city’s income-tax rate from 0.75% to 2.0% but also increase the credit for taxes paid in another municipality from 25% to 100%.

If approved, the issue is estimated to generate $3.4 million annually in revenue for the city.

City Manager Andrew White called the measure a “restructuring,” saying approximately 80% of city residents would benefit from the credit.

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Council member Tom Counts acknowledged that a portion of residents would see the full increase but asked that this be viewed “as a necessary piece of a much larger jigsaw puzzle that has long-term benefits to the city.”

Mayor Frank Bertone said the current tax rate has been in place for 30 years and that the restructured tax is a “critical component needed for our community to grow.”

Previous income-tax measures have been defeated at the polls, Counts said, adding that he hopes the stumbling block for residents was that those measures hadn’t included the full credit for workers paying income taxes to municipalities where they work.

The city must certify ballot language to the Delaware County Board of Elections by Feb. 3.

The tax would begin being collected Jan. 1, 2022.

The additional revenue would bolster the city’s ability to maintain and improve infrastructure, provide safety and other services and enhance the city’s competitiveness regarding economic development in the region, White said.

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