By Christine Bryant
Reynoldsburg residents approved a 1-percent income tax hike – a stark difference in outcome than previous attempts.
Voters approved the increase 66 to 34 percent, with unofficial results showing 2,831 voters voted in favor, while 1,491 voted against in both Franklin and Licking counties.
The last time the city raised its income tax was in 1983, but not for a lack of trying. Voters have since rejected all ballot initiatives, most recently in 2013.
But this year was different.
This year’s ballot measure came with the promise of constructing a YMCA facility – something several voters saw as a much needed addition to the city and one that was supported by both Democrat and Republican candidates.
“This has been the first true non-partisan project that has gotten strong support from all of our community in a very uniform manner,” said Marshall Spalding, a city council member and one of the co-chairs for the Citizens to Improve Quality of Life in Reynoldsburg.
The income tax, which will go from 1.5 to 2.5 percent, is expected to generate an additional $6.5 million for Reynoldsburg each year, with $1.5 million per year going toward the construction of the proposed YMCA building and $5 million per year going toward city services, such as parks, police, and repairing and maintaining the roadways.
The tax increase will affect individuals who work in Reynoldsburg or generate other income in the city, such as rental properties. It also will affect Reynoldsburg residents who work outside the city in a municipality that has an income tax lower than 2.5 percent.
It will not affect Reynoldsburg residents who do not generate income in the city or who work in a municipality with an income tax of at least 2.5 percent, which includes the city of Columbus.
While the city would fund the construction of the building, the YMCA of Central Ohio would incur the costs of maintaining and managing the facility, as well as any repairs that would be necessary over time as the facility ages. The proposed YMCA facility would be constructed near the Senior Center at the old pool site off Davidson Drive – property the city of Reynoldsburg purchased in August.
Volunteers with Citizens to Improve Quality of Life in Reynoldsburg visited more than 1,600 houses, attended seven school events with presentations and made numerous phone calls to answer residents’ questions and generate support for the project, Spalding said.
“The next step is to get the engineers started on the planning and prepare for construction next year,” he said. “We are so pleased with all that made this happen.”
Reynoldsburg City Council
candidate primary results
(Franklin and Licking counties):
Democrat ticket (top 3 nominated and will vie for three at-large seats overall in November):
•Kristin Bryant 1,069
•Stacie Baker 1,030
•Kelly Cruse 899
•Cornelius McGrady, III 739
•John Stearns 378
Republican ticket (top 3 nominated and will vie for three at-large seats overall in November):
•Barth Cotner 1,435
•Chris Long 1,274
•Aaron DeLong 1,118
•Charlie Myers 835