Canton Council is to Vote Tonight on an Income Tax Hike

Feb 5, 2018

Canton Mayor Tom Bernabei says 60 percent of money will go toward five core areas: around Mercy and Aultman hospitals, around the Timken Co., downtown and in the corridor leading to the Hall of Fame.
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Canton City Council is expected to decide tonight  whether to go to voters in May to hike the city’s income tax by half a percent. 

Sixty percent of the $11.5 million the tax is expected to raise would be devoted to economic development in the five core areas identified in the city’s comprehensive plan two years ago. Mayor Tom Bernabei says that includes near northwest neighborhoods leading from downtown to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Not focusing money on the Hall of Fame. They’re quite capable of funding their own needs. But what we want to do is focus – where development calls for it – the connectivity to the hall of fame so that the tourists have an easy way, an attractive way, to get downtown, and that we have things in downtown for tourists to do.

The rest of the money would go to police, fire, roads and neighborhood development primarily on the east side.

If voters OK the issue, Canton’s income tax would climb to 2.5 percent, the same as Akron and Cleveland.