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Letter to the editor: 'We can do better to protect taxpayers'

Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 12:01 am

In a struggling economy that's still absorbing a payroll tax increase; the city administration raised income taxes on all of Allen County.

We can do better to protect taxpayers.

City Councilman Russ Jehl and I released a responsible plan that funded all the great services Fort Wayne families expect and deserve without an income tax increase.

The economy is turning around just as those going back to work in Fort Wayne will be greeted with higher income taxes than necessary. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported this month that Indiana's private- sector employment rate is at a pre-recession level of 2,516,600 that hasn't been seen since the July 2008 level of 2,513,300.

I know there's a Fort Wayne in the near future with higher incomes in a better economy, and we have a duty to plan for the long term by tightening our belts when folks in the Summit City have to tighten theirs.

The concept that the city administration needed to raise taxes because it “lost revenue” from the property tax caps is taxpayer representation of the worst sort — it's not the government's money to lose.

Smaller tax revenue in a down economy only makes common sense to Hoosiers in all of Allen County who will now see even less take-home pay as a result of this income tax increase. The solution is not to subtract dollars from hardworking families pressed with the very real effect of lost family revenue.

I see a brighter future for Fort Wayne, and we introduced a plan that was optimistic about growth. We can do better to protect the taxpayers who are the engine of growth.

Mitch Harper, City Councilman