Horrigan Warns Of Budget Woes In Akron State Of The City
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan’s State of the City speech Tuesday focused on growth and the financial challenges the city faces. Horrigan’s mostly optimistic outlook on the city’s future included a warning about hard choices ahead.
He warned that the loss of $15 million a year from state cuts in tax sharing and $86 million in income taxes since the Great Recession has left Akron at what he called a financial crossroads.
“I will continue to cut cost and implement efficiency measures that will prevent any unnecessary spending. Second, I will focus on preserving our most critical services," said Horrigan.
During a question and answer session after the speech, the mayor left open the possibility of an income tax increase.
“I can tell you this – if it was under consideration, or if we do consider something, it’s for police, fire, roads, EMTs, and infrastructure to build this city’s base back up," said Horrigan.
After winning the election in 2015, the mayor formed a commission known as the City of Akron Blue Ribbon Task Force. Horrigan has already followed some of the task force recommendations – like creating a human resources department and changing employee health care plans. Additional proposals include the possible sale of city assets and land and delaying the completion of the $1.4 billion sewer repair project mandated by the federal government.