Taxes to pay for fire department will be on Mason's November ba - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Taxes to pay for fire department will be on Mason's November ballot

MASON, OH (FOX19) - Maintaining fire and EMS services in the City of Mason is the focus of a new proposed tax hike that would affect those who live and work in Mason.

The city council conducted a vote 5-2 on Monday night to put a property tax adjustment and an income tax increase on the November ballot. Both measures would generate nearly $7 million per year for the city and prevent the city from having to make cuts to the fire department.

"We will be able to keep continued staffing levels for our firefighters," said Bryan Bruagen, a Mason firefighter. "Basically our fire fund is going to broke in the very near future so we need the revenue to keep our department solvent like it is right now."

A tax measure proposed by the city would increase the income tax from one percent to 1.012 percent. Also, the city's property tax levy would be re-set to a five mill levy.

But some people have a problem with how this tax measure is structured because only those who live outside of Mason but work in the city will see an income tax increase.

"As far as things like fire and police, I am willing to support that but I am going to stick with my own community," said Kevin Helmick, a Mason business owner. "As long as I support my own community and Mason supports its own community I think it would be streamlined and probably be fair."

So even though the tax measure would go in front of voters, those who don't live in Mason but do work there, won't have a vote on the tax hike.

But city leaders say this proposed tax measure is least harmful to the local economy and to homeowners.

Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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