Mayor Proposes Plan, Calling for Higher Income Taxes

By Stephanie Parkinson

March 11, 2013 Updated Mar 11, 2013 at 6:11 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - A plan to generate revenue for the city would mean higher income taxes for residents. Monday afternoon Fort Wayne Tom Henry and his Fiscal Policy Group presented their plan to bring in new income for the city.

Since the property tax cap was put into place in Indiana in 2009 the city has lost $53 million in revenue. The Fiscal Policy Group, created by Mayor Henry, is proposing adopting local option income taxes. It’s a move that's projected to bring in $13 million a year for the city by raising everyone's income tax.

However the LOIT would also bring relief to homeowners with lower assessed values because it would drop their property taxes.

One of the mayor’s biggest concerns would also be taken care of in this plan with the addition of 20 police officers and 15 firefighters.

Meanwhile the plan does suggest cutting back operating expenses by $5 million. City workers would also feel some impact if this plan comes to fruition because it calls for changes to benefits for city employees.

"We have a choice. But once again people are going to have to understand if we don't do any tax increases, major cuts in services and possibly quality of life. If we want to keep things the same we have to consider revenue increases," said Dr. John Crawford, (R) Fort Wayne City Council At Large.

"The administration is committed to giving our citizens the best possible foundation of operation that we can and unfortunately sometimes there's pain that comes with that," said Mayor Tom Henry, (D) Fort Wayne.

This plan is very preliminary and would take action by city council to be put into effect.

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