TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson is warning tax payers that the city would fall into a fiscal emergency, as the campaign is now underway for Issue 2 - the three quarter percent income tax renewal. The levy generates $52 million dollars to pay for city services, but if voters reject it, even a place dedicated to Toledo's late mayor might not be saved.
Toledo mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson is warning tax payers that the city would fall into a fiscal emergency, as the campaign is now underway for Issue 2 - the three quarter percent income tax renewal. The levy generates $52 million dollars to pay for city services, but if voters reject it, even a place dedicated to Toledo's late mayor might not be saved.
"This is a renewal. It's not a new tax. It's not an increase over the amount that we've always been paying," said Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson at a news conference to kick off the campaign. She wants voters to know they're not being asked to pay new tax money.
Mayor Hicks-Hudson chose the backd rop of a busy city skyline with construction cranes downtown, to say the city's progress is in jeopardy.
"It is so important to renew the 3/4 percent and keep us moving forward," said Hicks-Hudson.
Jim Tuschman, of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, is one of the levy co-chairs.
"All of that progress, let me emphasize, all of that progress and momentum will stop if this tax is not renewed. The city will be immersed in a fiscal crisis," said Tuschman.
If the three quarter percent income tax levy fails in November, the mayor says 260 police officers could be laid off. The detective bureau, gang unit, and K9 squad would all be closed down. And police could close the police substation in West Toledo that is named in honor of the late mayor, D. Michael Collins.
The mayor also said 211 firefighters could be laid off.
"We're looking at some major cuts, so it's not a scare tactic. I'd rather talk only about the positive but we have to have a real, two-fold discussion," said Mayor Hicks-Hudson.
The Issue 2 campaign also includes faith-based community leaders like Pastor James Willis. He wants his parishioners to spread the word.
"I feel very confident that this levy is going to pass and when you step out on faith, you have to wait on God to do the rest of it. So I've already stepped out on faith."
City leaders aren't shy about telling voters the worst case scenario. Other possible cuts are to streets and building inspections and police may no longer respond to non-injury accidents.
The Mayor said her office will actively push for the passage of Issue 2, as you will see it on the ballot.
The next town hall meeting on the issue will be held on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Kahle Senior Center.