Lake County Income Tax Passed
The Lake County Commission has approved a County Council 1.5% county income tax proposal. The Commission passed the measure 2-1 Friday with Commissioner Gerry Scheub casting the dissenting vote. The action followed a split four-to-three vote Monday when the Lake County Council passed a 1.5% local option income tax plan that could take effect in 2015. Supporters and opponents of the tax spoke about the $90-million-dollar Lake County local option income tax proposal intended for property tax relief, with .25% for public safety. Monday night Council member Eldon Strong told residents he believes more budget cuts could eliminate the need for the tax. “A plan has been submitted which would consolidate government service locations.”
The mayors of Gary and Hammond each say they support the tax. County Sheriff’s Deputy of Police, and Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor President, Dan Murchek also supports the tax. “This is about Lake County taking care of Lake County. I don’t want to pay another tax, but I do want my firehouse staffed. I do want someone to respond to my emergency calls, I want a police officer patrolling the streets and making sure my kid walks to school.”
Tax opponents, including Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub, say the tax is unnecessary, with some people concerned the money will not be distributed properly, such as Eric Krieg, “The way that they set this up, people in your town will pay $10 and you will receive $1. This is taking money from south county to north county.”
The Council vote to approve the tax plan sent it to Lake County Commissioners Friday’s vote.