Centerville income tax hike passes

Voters in Centerville have approved increasing the city’s income tax by 0.5 percent, the first such hike in 35 years.

Issue 3, which proposed to raise the Centerville income tax from 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent, won about 57 percent support by voters, according to final but unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

“I think we ran a good campaign and worked very hard on it,” Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton said.

He said the city workers “provide good service to the residents and I think they recognize that. I think that’s why we had good strong support on the (issue). I can tell you we’re very, very pleased with the results.”

In the first effort to hike the income tax since 1981, the increase would affect all people who work in Centerville. About 40 percent of Centerville residents work in the city and will see an income tax increase starting in January.

The city sought the increase as a way of boosting revenue in the face of state cuts to the local government fund, Compton has said.

The hike will generate about $2.2 million each year to be used for general municipal operations, including police, repairing existing streets, maintenance, repair and new equipment.

Centerville has lost nearly $3 million annually for the past five years due to an 89 percent reduction in state funding, according to the city.

It also estimates losses of an additional $1 million in 2017.

Since state cuts took effect in 2011, Centerville has eliminated or reduced the hours and pay of 14 city positions, delayed road resurfacing and increased the cost of medical insurance for city employees, in addition to using local businesses to help generate revenue.

Economic development – such as Cornerstone – helps raise city revenue, but Centerville has cut about 15 percent in recent years, Compton has said.