Fort Wayne Councilman offers amendments to income tax proposal

(Photo Supplied / City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Fort Wayne City Councilman At-Large Michael Barranda today announced plans for several amendments to fellow Councilman John Crawford’s proposal to increase the Allen County Income Tax from 1.35% to 1.5%.

Crawford’s companion bill proposes the creation of a non-reverting fund to reserve the additional economic development tax revenue for riverfront development as well as improvements to sidewalks and alleys.

Barranda says the existing legislation does not provide any breakdown of how much, if any, would actually be spent on neighborhood improvements or otherwise detail how the riverfront development would be overseen. To date, no actual plans for Phase II and Phase III of the proposed riverfront development have been provided to City Council or otherwise been made public.

Barranda says the initial proposal for the tax increase was made last April following a series of closed-door meetings between selected members of City Council and the city administration.

“My colleagues supporting this tax increase have promised to have a public discussion about accomplishing what is best for the community,” Barranda says. “Having heard from constituents for several weeks now – both for and against the proposals – I am offering these amendments to the pending legislation in order to promote that very discussion.”

Barranda proposes the following:

  1. Adjusting the LIT increase to .1% (raising the income tax to 1.45%)
  2. A sunset provision terminating the tax upon conclusion of riverfront development
  3. Exclusion of any funds to be utilized for a downtown arena/event center
  4. Provision requiring no less than 1/3 of the additional revenue to be used for neighborhood improvements to sidewalks and alleys each year
  5. All remaining funds to be overseen by the Legacy Joint Funding Committee pursuant to the policies and procedures determined by City Council and the City administration about the usage and administration of the Legacy Fund

A vote on the proposal won’t happen until after a public hearing set for 5:30pm on July 11th.

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