DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein made her final plea to voters for Issue 9 on Monday.
Issue 9 is on the November ballot. It is a one-fourth percent earned income tax for the City of Dayton. With voter approval, it will bring Dayton’s income tax rate to 2.5 percent.
“It’s been 32 years since we’ve gone and asked our citizens to increase our income tax by a quarter percent,” said Dickstein.
“It’s been really tough managing through the Great Recession,” she said. “We’ve cut our organization 40 percent. The state has cut us $40 million. So, we sit at 1998 revenue levels and we’re projecting a $5 million gap in our budget next year.”
“If people make $35,000 a year, it’s a $1.60 a week, and it’ll generate about $11 million for the city,” said Dickstein.
She said about 60 percent of that is generated by folks commuting into the city who use city services. So, they believe it’s a fair way to raise revenue to increase investment in Dayton neighborhoods.
“Of the $11 million, 60 percent of it goes to those service enhancements for police, fire and EMS,” she explained. “We’ll be investing in our roads so they’re in better shape. We are going to be investing in our parks and abandoned properties, as well as providing universal pre-k for all of our four-year-olds so they get off to a better start for school.”
She said if it doesn’t pass, they have a $5 million gap to address. “And the only way to really do that is to look at service cuts for our city,” said Dickstein.
“We hope everyone votes ‘yes’ and understands that this is a real opportunity to maintain important services as well as bring in investment to our neighborhoods that have really struggled through the foreclosure crisis and the Great Recession,” she said.