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Tallmadge Leaders Considering Ways to Cover Funding Gap for Fire Department

David Kline, Tallmadge OH
City of Tallmadge

The City of Tallmadge has a permanent fire levy but it’s no longer covering all the costs of the fire department. The city is subsidizing the shortfall of more than a million dollars a year from its general fund. So the mayor is exploring the idea of a quarter-of-a-percent income tax increase. 

The first question Mayor David Kline is getting is: “Why not a new fire levy?”  Because, he says, the original levy has a homestead exemption. State law won’t allow that in a new levy and its loss would heavily impact home owners.

Kline also says the income tax route will have effectively no impact on a large number of residents because they work in Akron and elsewhere with tax rates higher than Tallmadge’s 2 percent.  “Anybody in Tallmadge that’s working in Akron, they’re paying two-point-five.  And so with reciprocity, get a quarter of a percent of their money back to Tallmadge instead of Akron keeping it all.”

Kline stresses that he and City Council are informally discussing options and are not moving forward on anything for now.