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The Journal Gazette

  • State representatives Chris Judy, left, and Bob Morris listen as City Councilman Jason Arp outlines their opposition to new local income taxes. Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:40 am

Coalition protests proposed tax increase

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Indiana state representatives and Fort Wayne City Councilmen gathered at the Americans for Prosperity headquarters on Illinois Road Wednesday to announce a coalition that intends to oppose a proposed local income tax increase for Allen County. 

"We think that if you look at what's happened over the last year or so, not only here in Fort Wayne but across the state, that taxpayers here are facing significantly more burden than they were a year ago," said Justin Stevens, state director of Americans For Prosperity.

The proposed tax increase, which would increase existing rates by 0.15 percent, was announced late last month by Fort Wayne Councilman John Crawford, who was joined by three other City Council members and Mayor Tom Henry. Funds generated by the increase would help fund future phases of the city's downtown riverfront development project, as well as future sidewalk and alley projects, proponents say. Discussions on the proposal are expected to start either later this month or sometime in June, with a vote planned for July 11. If the increase is approved by Aug. 31, it would go into effect in October. 

The current income tax rate for Allen County is 1.35 percent. 

Councilmen Paul Ensley, R-1st, Russ Jehl, R-2nd, and Jason Arp, R-4th, joined Wednesday's announcement in opposition of the proposal. State Reps. Chris Judy, R-Fort Wayne, and Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne, were also present Wednesday. 

The organization plans to engage in a campaign that includes phone calls, door-to-door canvassing and social media advertising to oppose the proposed increase, Stevens said. 

For more on this story see Thursday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 1 a.m. Thursday.