Special to 1808Delaware

From the City of Delaware:

Delaware residents will have the opportunity to make their voices heard by voting on two ballot issues approved by Delaware City Council. On March 19 — Election Day — polls will be open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM.               

The first issue on the ballot is is a proposed 5-year, 0.35 percent income tax which is estimated to generate an additional $7 million for the City of Delaware. This increase would not impact retirement income, Social Security, unemployment or disability benefits or military compensation. Residents can find out how the proposal impacts them through the city’s income tax calculator.

The other issue before voters is to make permanent the 0.15 percent parks and recreation tax approved in 2008, with one change: if approved, funds could also go toward general parks, trails and recreation uses, such as new programs and upgrades. Currently, the tax only allows funds to be allocated to park improvements and paying down debt on the recreation center.

“We have a beautiful city and we want to see it stay this way for many years to come,” City Manager Tom Homan said. “These funding mechanisms will ensure we’re able to maintain the quality of life that makes Delaware so special while enabling us to make needed improvements to maintain our infrastructure.”

If both tax proposals pass, revenue generated would be used to reduce the significant backlog of 195 streets in need of repair, maintain alleyways, support Delaware Municipal Court operations, grow local jobs by creating project sites ready for new businesses; and make capital improvements to existing facilities.

In addition, residents would also have new recreation programming and park improvements that improve Delaware and better meet community needs and desires. Sufficient funding would be in place for trails and parks capital projects.

If the levy fails, the City will be greatly limited in its capacity to fund essential services and address pressing community needs. This will have a direct impact on residents’ quality of life, including revenue shortfalls, continued deterioration of roads and public spaces, reduced recreation services and less local business growth. To accommodate the revenue loss, City Council would continue to analyze city expenditures, including potentially reevaluating the feasibility of maintaining the council-authorized income tax credit.

“On March 19, Delaware residents can cast their ballots,” Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle said. “I encourage every resident to make their voice heard by voting on these tax measures.”

For more information about what’s on the ballot and the impact of the proposed income tax restructuring, visit delawareohio.net/taxproposal.

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