ELYRIA — City voters once again have renewed, for the next five years at least, a 0.5 percent income tax that accounts for a large portion of the city’s budget and keeps city services intact.
Issue 25 passed 8,403 votes for to 6,927 votes against, according to unofficial results from the Lorain County Board of Elections.
“It’s all good news,” said Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda, who gathered Tuesday night with supporters at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Midway Boulevard. “We’re obviously relieved the city is going in a positive direction.”
The income tax issue raises approximately $6.4 million a year, which accounts for about one-fourth of the city’s $29.5 million general fund budget. It has been on the books since 1983 and been renewed every five years since.
Brinda said she is pleased the city can continue to provide “high-quality services,” which she said are “personnel intensive,” while being conservative with hiring and staffing numbers.
Without the money, Elyria could have had to cut 125 employee positions, making it “virtually impossible” to continue to do what needs done in terms of safety forces, street repairs, parks and recreation and other services, Brinda said.
“City services would have been compromised,” she said.
Collections affect only income earned in Elyria, and retirement income and the paychecks of those who live in Elyria, but work outside the city, are not subject to the tax. Also exempt from the tax are Social Security, unemployment and disability income.
“We try to do as much as we can,” Brinda said. “The more personnel you have, the more you have to do, but you don’t want more than you need ... A large number of our employees live in Elyria, so they pay the tax, too, and provide the best services we can, the most affordable services we can.”