2014 City Budget: Raising Income Taxes? (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose

May 14, 2013 Updated May 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry wants to raise the Local Option Income Tax to raise more than $14 million to help pay for next year's budget.

But two Republican councilmen insist the 2014 budget can be paid for without raising any taxes.

Councilmen Mitch Harper and Russ Jehl claim the city has paid off some debts for previous obligations, which means that expense has been eliminated.

They also say yet-to-be revealed step increases in water and sewer bills are coming, and add that now that property values are going up, property tax revenue will go up.

That's enough, they say to pay the bills without knowing exactly what those fee increases are going be for city water and sewer users.

But the administration wants to raise the Local Option Income Tax to generate more than $14 million in revenue.

"By half a percent, which is a 50% increase. That's a big deal, what that means is all of us are going to have to work another day each year for the rest of our lives to pay that tax increase," Jehl says.

"We need to be mindful of the burden we place on individuals to pay, our citizens to pay. And knowing what the rates are going to be proposed, following this vote, is an important part of that," Harper adds.

Council will vote on parts of these proposals within the next month. The budget has to be adopted by the end of October.




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