Today, we have a great opportunity to invest in the future of the City of Dayton. We have the chance to guarantee high quality pre-school for every four-year old in the City of Dayton, while also investing in our roads, infrastructure, police and emergency services. We are proposing a one quarter of one percent earned income tax increase to fund pre-school for all Dayton four year olds, street paving and police services.
We know that high quality pre-school is a must to prepare children for kindergarten and put them on a track to succeed later in life. Unfortunately, four out five Dayton children come to kindergarten woefully behind. This produces lower test scores, graduation rates, college attendance and a poorer workforce. Investing in Dayton children will produce a better workforce that pays dividends for many years to come.
Dayton’s streets and infrastructure are falling behind due to state budget cuts. The State of Ohio has taken about $10 million per year away from Dayton’s budget, forcing us to defer paving and maintenance. This proposal will allow us to invest again in our infrastructure and pave more residential streets, helping to attract jobs and investment. It will also help us keep our neighborhood lots and parks well-mowed and maintained and complete the work of updating our parks and playgrounds.
Excellent police and emergency services are vital to a city’s future success. Due to state cuts, our budget is at the same level as it was in 1998! Our dedicated police officers and emergency personnel are doing a great job, but we will struggle to maintain current service levels without additional funding.
The proposal would cost someone earning $35,000 per year $1.60 per week and applies to everyone who works in Dayton, including those living outside the city. Social security, pension and retirement income is not taxed. Dayton’s income tax rate has not increased in 32 years. This proposal is fair, accountable and necessary.
I hope you will join me in supporting this effort to secure a better future and create opportunity for all of Dayton.