ELYRIA — The November ballot will include an income tax renewal for Elyria voters, allowing the city’s electors the opportunity to OK a tax measure that is decades old.
City officials approved Monday night legislation to get the issue on the ballot, which must be received by the Lorain County Board of Elections by Wednesday. This tax issue dates back to 1984.
Voters have to OK continuous collection of the revenue every five years, and the 0.5-percent temporary income tax is set to expire June 30, 2019. This is not to be confused with another 0.5-percent temporary income tax voters approved in 2016 that is known as Issue 6.
Council has a few more years before it can ask for a renewal on that one.
Finance Director Ted Pileski said the tax brings in about $6.4 million each calendar year and losing the revenue would put the city in a deficit by the end of 2019.
Council members already are starting the push to educate voters on the issue, with Councilman Mark Jessie, D-3rd Ward and Councilwoman Donna Mitchell, D-6th Ward, stressing during the meeting that voters need to know the importance of the tax.
“This is not Issue 6,” Jessie said. “I think that needs to be said and said often. I know residents will say they thought Issue 6 was for five years and why are we coming back now. But this is not Issue 6.”
And while Issue 6 had specified allocations, the issue voters will vote on in November is for general fund revenue for general city operations.
“Residents also need to know this is not new money,” Mitchell added. “This has been on the books in Elyria for so long, but a renewal is not an increase.”