Hamilton County city, town leaders adopt new income tax

Local

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A new local income tax to fund operations for a 911 center was approved Tuesday for residents in Hamilton County.

The city and town councils each had a percentage of the vote, but with votes of approval from Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield, plus a couple of towns, the tax will go into effect beginning Jan. 1.

The math is pretty easy. If you make $100,000, you would have to pay $100 a year, a little less than $10 bucks per month.

The more controversial part of the equation is it would bring millions more than the current system.

Dispatchers answer about 500,000 calls a year in Hamilton County with about 300,000 resulting in a response from emergency personnel. The current budget of $11.4 million is still not enough, said Jeff Schemmer, executive director of communications for Hamilton County.

The call volume is going up and so are costs — enough that cities and townships say they could not continue to pay for it with available funds.

The local income tax is expected to raise $15.4 million a year through paychecks. The tax will create an extra $7 million of revenue annually to 911. The county also receives about $3.4 million from the state’s 911 fund annually.

The 911 center will take on additional expenses such as starting to pay for police and firefighter radios around the county at a cost of $2.5 million, freeing up additional revenue for communities.

The new local income also will allow the county to build a new 911 center within the next five years.

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