Akron income tax

photo of Akron police roll call

Akron City Council will vote tonight on whether to spend more than $500,000 on new tasers, helmets and computers for the Police Department.

The lion’s share of the money -- $400,000 – will go toward 165 Tasers to replace aging units that are already in use.

Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Mosley-Samples says she’s confident council will approve the request this evening. And she hopes council will next consider buying surveillance cameras for high crime areas such as the ones in her ward.

photo of Akron City Council

Akron’s projected budget gap has been cut almost in half, but the president of city council says there’s more room for improvement.

Earlier this month, Akron officials estimated that this year’s shortfall would be $916,000. Part of the gap was due to decreased income tax collections last year. As budget hearings concluded last week, the city’s budget director said that number had been reduced by $400,000.

Council President Margo Sommerville says they are exploring ways to make up the rest by cutting costs and also bringing in additional revenue.

photo of downtown Canton, Ohio

Canton is likely to follow the lead of nearly every other major city in the state – and many smaller ones – by asking voters to OK a hike in the city’s income tax. But WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, there are some differences in the Canton plan. 1

City Council will need to pass the ordinance boosting the income tax from 2 to 2.5 percent next week in order hit the Feb. 7 deadline to get it on the May ballot.

M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Akron has released its spending plan for the additional money for public safety and roads raised from an income-tax increase approved by voters last year.

The increase is expected to raise $13 million this year. 

Mayor Dan Horrigan says the priorities include replacing one fire station, designing the replacement for another and repaving an additional 37 miles of road.

Pipeline sections

Correction: There's no evidence that nearly 150,000 gallons of drilling fluid Rover pipeline builders lost down a hole beneath the Tuscarawas River entered wetlands. No one has yet established where it went. Energy Transfer Partners maintains, "We are continuing to work through the process, and we are working in coordination with FERC on all of the remaining HDDs and are in compliance with the HDD contingency plan that was approved by FERC."

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Jan. 22: