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Street repairs on way in wake of tax hike

FORT WAYNE – The city’s higher income tax will pay for 50 miles of asphalt resurfacing, 10 miles of concrete street reconstruction, repairs to brick streets and dozens of other improvements, officials said Monday.

On June 25, the City Council voted to raise the city’s income tax from 1 percent to 1.35 percent, with 0.25 percent designated for property tax relief and 0.10 percent for public safety, which will send new revenue to every taxing body in the county that provides public safety, including the city, county and some towns and townships.

The package of tax increases and spending cuts will create about $13.5 million in new revenue for the city; $3 million will go toward city parks, $2.8 million to hiring new police and firefighters and the rest to streets and roads.

“Our transportation system is critical to meeting the needs of citizens and businesses,” Mayor Tom Henry said. “By maintaining streets and roads, we’re showing a strong commitment to being a growing community that values quality of life, great neighborhoods, and a thriving business climate.”

Officials said the additional spending will enable them to begin catching up on the backlog of streets in need of repair caused by falling gas tax revenues from more efficient cars and a lagging economy.

For more on this story see Tuesday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m. Tuesday.