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Mayfield Heights Income Tax Hike Up By 43 Votes In Initial Ballot Count

The proposal would increase the income tax from 1 percent to 1.5 percent for residents who live and work in Mayfield Heights. [Google Maps]
Mayfield Heights City Hall

A proposed income tax increase in Mayfield Heights is ahead by just 43 votes in unofficial primary results.

Additional ballots may still need to be counted.

The levy would raise income taxes from 1 percent to 1.5 percent and bring in an estimated $4 million to $5 million. The funds would be earmarked for repairs to local infrastructure, according to the city, including roads, sidewalks and the city pool.

In the initial count released by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections after 2 a.m. on Wednesday, the Mayfield Heights levy has 1,488 votes in its favor and 1,445 votes against.

Any mail-in ballots postmarked by April 27 will be counted, even if they have not yet been received by county boards of elections. The results may change the slim margin.

About $200,000 of the anticipated increased revenue would go toward sidewalks annually. Of the remaining funds, 60 percent would go toward road repair and the rest toward parks and pool work.

“Our pool is 60 years old, needs extensive repair every year, so that was one of the main things we were hoping to tackle with some additional revenue,” said Mayor Anthony DiCicco.

The city has also studied strategies for maintaining and improving roads over the next 10 years, DiCicco said, which the levy also would support.

Mayfield Heights wouldn’t be able to work on all of its projects without the support of the levy, DiCicco said.

“We’d have to prioritize everything and see how we’re going to tackle that with the current funds that we have, which would be difficult,” DiCicco said. “Something would have to be cut.”

The levy’s wording says it is meant to cover “general municipal operations,” which opponents argue isn’t specific enough.

The coronavirus pandemic generated more concern about the municipal budget, but money from the levy would help the city move forward even if it doesn’t make up for income taxes lost during the pandemic, DiCicco said

“The additional revenue would at least allow us to borrow funds to begin some of these projects,” he said.

With the levy, Mayfield Heights residents working in the city and earning $50,000 dollars a year would pay an additional $20.82 a month.

Residents working outside of Mayfield Heights would receive a tax credit and not be subjected to the increase. Opponents argue it would create an unfair burden for residents who do work in the city.