Councilmen discuss proposed income tax increase ahead of city council meeting

 FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – City leaders gave more details today about a proposal to increase the local income tax. The reason is for a riverfront management fund and improving sidewalks and alleys. But it was stressed it’s just a proposal now and the public still has to weigh in.

The increase would be .15% making the tax 1.5%. It would mean $6 more a month for households with an average income of $49,000. That’s not small increase for everyone especially older generations. “You’re right, they’ve got to worry about every dollar. One good thing about this is social security income is not taxed under this tax,” Crawford said.

There’d be three purposes for the tax. First, a maintenance fund for the riverfront project. “Far too often people build things but they never put money aside to keep it state of the art as years go on,” Mayor Tom Henry said.

Plus improving and adding sidewalks and alleys. Especially around schools. “We have about 1,600 miles of sidewalks in this community and many of them are in pretty bad shape and many are not in a position to connect to schools,” Henry said.

Council president Tom Didier said he’s gotten a lot of feedback both good and bad. He’s had people express concerns he’s talking about tax increases as a republican. He said he hasn’t made any decisions yet and if the response if largely negative he’ll have a tough choice. “Then I’ll have to make a really hard decision on whether we do .15, .12 or .10 or nothing at all.”

There would be an ordinance along with this stating the money could only be used for these three things. All of this will be introduced tonight. A public meeting will be held the 27th. Then a second public meeting July 11th followed by a vote that night.