City leaders in Marion plan to put an income tax proposal on the November ballot for the police and fire departments.
Officials said it would be the first tax increase for the departments in 20 years.
The levy would be a quarter of a percent increase, which would mean an extra $8 a month for the average family.
The departments said they need the money because they are at dangerously low staffing levels.
"We've always been here to respond to the people, to be there for them, but at this point, this is something where we need the people's help," said Capt. Wade Ralph, Marion Fire Dept.
Ralph said a fire station on the north side is already forced to shut down from time to time and the station on the west side is completely closed because there's no one to man it.
The idea of a tax increase is not sitting well with everyone.
Some residents said they are concerned that it will be tough to pay more in hard economic times.
"I think the taxes are high enough as it is," said Sheila Eaton, Marion resident.
But Marion police officials said the department is lacking dozens of officers.
"In the times that the economy is so bad, our problems only become worse. Our job only becomes bigger, and we have fewer resources now to deal with that," said Lt. B.J. Gruber.
Voters will get the final say in November.
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