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1% Earned Income Tax Fails in Beavercreek Despite $200 Million Dollar Infrastructure Backlog

Roadwork being done in Beavercreek on Grange Hall Road
Chris Welter
Roadwork being done in Beavercreek on Grange Hall Road

The proposed 1% income tax on the ballot in Beavercreek failed on Tuesday.

52% percent of Beavercreek residents voted against the 1% earned income tax., But it was a closer race compared to the 60% who voted against the tax the last time it was on the ballot in 2013. Beavercreek, with a population of about 48,000 people, is by far the largest city in the state to not have its own income tax.

The city also has a $200 million dollar infrastructure backlog. Roads, curbs, sidewalks and stormwater systems all need to be upgraded.

Pete Landrum, Beavercreek’s City Manager, says that even though the income tax measure failed, the increase in the percentage of votes for the tax shows that more residents understand what the city is asking for. And he says that sort of voter education must continue if the tax can be passed in the future.

“You can come talk to the city manager. You can come talk to the mayor or a council member. We can open the capital improvements book and show you and we can go out and take a drive and show you." He said, "But for a lot of people, we get thrown in with the big federal government or state government that waste money and spends money, or we have a printing press in the basement that we can just print more money. And that's just not the case.”

The Beavercreek City Council will decide what to do next. The 1% earned income tax could be put on the ballot again in May 2021. Landrum says the council is also exploring various assessments that would increase property taxes. Either way, he says Beavercreek’s infrastructure issues are still as pressing as ever.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is the Managing Editor at The Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.

Chris got his start in radio in 2017 when he completed a six-month training at the Center for Community Voices. Most recently, he worked as a substitute host and the Environment Reporter at WYSO.