The City of Avon is seeking to raise its income tax rate to raise about $2 million a year for 10 years to purchase land for its park system.
The proposed income tax increase will be on the ballot in the May 3 primary election.
If voters approve the measure, the funds raised from the increase can only be used by the city to acquire residential property, according to the City of Avon.
“Any property acquired with these funds must be used for public parks,” said Avon Chief Financial Officer William Logan.
The goal of buying vacant residential zoned property to be used only as parks would slow Avon’s growth, a choice the city leaves to its residents, Logan said.
“We are asking voters to decide No. 1, do we want to slow residential growth? he said. “And, #2, do we want more parks.
“That’s really all he asks for.”
The city is asking voters to pay an additional 15% increase that would bring the current tax rate to 1.90% from 1.75% for 10 years starting Jan. 1, 2023, Avon officials say.
“The average tax rate for cities and towns in Lorain County is 1.89%,” according to the city.
The increase would apply to residents working in Avon as well as Avon residents working in other municipalities, the city said.
Everyone working at Avon, including residents and non-residents, would pay the new tax rate of 1.90%.
However, the proposed increase changes in percentage for Avon residents working in another municipality.
“An Avon resident working in another city or town would pay Avon 0.30% (1.90% less than the 1.60% resident credit), an increase of 0.05% from the 0.25 % (1.75% less than 1.50% resident credit), currently being paid,” according to the city
The limit for the Avon Resident Credit Program would be increased to 1.60 percent from 1.5 percent.
“Retirees with only Social Security or some other form of retirement income will not be affected,” Logan said. “Only taxable wages are affected.”
Avon’s current income tax includes the general rate of 1%; 0.5% for security forces and 0.25% for its park and recreation operations, according to city documents.