TOLEDO (WTOL) - One day after city council rejected his tax credit proposal, Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is spelling out how the city can stay out of the red. He says the tough decision comes down to cops or trash.
It's safe to say Toledo's mayor is less than happy with members of council. "City council is a very warm group of people, unfortunately lacking in political courage at the moment," he said.
On Tuesday, council voted against a measure to reduce the income tax credit given to Toledoans working outside the city, which would have increased taxes for roughly 18,000 people. Finkbeiner explained, 'Presently, if you live in Toledo but work in Oregon, you pay no payroll tax to the City of Toledo, zero."
That measure was expected to raise over $5 million to pay for city services. Now the mayor says the city has to consider laying off anywhere between 60 to 80 police officers. "We can't lay off fire persons, and we've cut the general fund budget. There's, I think, 190 people left in it. We've cut that to the quick."
The mayor says another option is increasing the trash fee. "We lose considerable money on our refuse operation to break even on that and offset red ink. It would take about a $4-$6 monthly increase to make that happen."
Council's Wilma Brown disagrees with the mayor. She believes other solutions can be found. "I don't think it's the only two options. We have several people on council that are more experienced with finance than I am. They've come up with some good ideas. I also feel, with the contract negotiations going on, everybody has to bite the bullet."
Brown chairs council's Public Safety Committee, and she says while laying off police officers can't be ruled out, she believes the mayor's comments are likely a scare tactic to influence contract talks with the police unions.