Toledoans speak out against mayor's tax plan

Reported by Rob Wiercinski email | bio
Posted by Kate Oatis email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - In the attempt to plug a massive budget hole, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is proposing a tax increase for some Toledoans.

The mayor says the increase is needed to help erase a $14 million deficit, reducing the tax credit given to Toledoans who work outside the city.

But it's not sitting too well with some of those who would be affected.

Kris Anderson, for example, works at Big Apple deli in Oregon and feels the tax increase is unfair.

"It's like I'm being penalized for living in Toledo but having a job in Oregon, so how's that fair?" Anderson said.

The plan calls for lowering the credit from 100 to 50 percent on taxes paid to another jurisdiction.

For example, a Toledoan working in Oregon making $36,000 per year now pays Oregon $810  and Toledo nothing. If approved, that person would have to pay Toledo $405 in income taxes.

Clarence Coleman, Toledo's taxation commissioner, explains:

"The Toledo resident working in Oregon was paying Toledo no income tax. He now pays us a rate of half that, which is 1.125 percent."

Coleman says people living and working in Toledo, or in a jurisdiction that doesn't impose an income tax, won't be affected.

"That scenario doesn't impact that person at all, because they're already paying the full rate," Coleman said.

But Anderson isn't buying it.

"One percent doesn't sound like much until it comes out of your check; with rates gas prices up, food prices up utility prices up, that one percent adds up after a while," Anderson said.

If the plan moves forward, Anderson says she'll be facing some tough choices.

"I'd have to either move out of my house to Oregon, or quit my job and work in Toledo. How's that fair?"

The income tax measure will be officially introduced to city council during Tuesday's agenda review meeting. At this point, it's not certain which committee will review this before it goes before council for a vote.