SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) The city of Springfield, seeing a surge in crime this year. Now, it’s asking voters to approve a tax levy this November, to help tackle the increase in crime.
They’re hoping voters will pass a five-year, 0.4-percent earned income tax levy this fall. As the city faces a shortfall of about $930,000 this year, according to city officials.
Steve Moody, Springfield Chief of police, said he needs more man power to combat the growing gun violence and drug trafficking in the city.
“We need to go after the traffickers and those that are causing the gun violence here in our community. When we look at our numbers just for the first 6 months of this year crime is up 6-percent, our violent crimes is up 13-percent overall and aggravated assaults are up 38-percent and it’s directly related to the gun violence that’s going on in this community,” Moody said.
If approved, the additional income tax would generate about $6.7 million annually. It would allow the city to dedicate about $2 million a year toward improving streets throughout the city and reinstate a police task force, by hiring six officers, to combat violent crimes and drug abuse plaguing the city.
“We’re answering about 160 – 170 calls for service every 24-hours. When you’re running from call to call with your staff, you’re not able to address the concern, the true concerns of neighborhoods,” Moody said. “The levy if it is passed, we’ll be able to keep these civilian personal on duty, a fire substation will remain open.”
He believes the levy is key to cleaning up Springfield proactively.
“We’ve got our hands full but it’s not an insurmountable task at all. We have a lot of great folks in this community. There are a lot of good things happening, but we just got to deal with the problem here head on and collectively,” Moody said.
The tax increase would amount to about $10 per month or about $125 per year, based on Springfield’s median income of about $31,000 per year.
If it fails, the city would face cuts to its parks funding, civilian police positions and other services.