Residents Offer Ideas On Columbus Budget Woes

City leaders listened to suggestions from residents Wednesday night on how to plug an estimated $80 million budget deficit.

Residents suggested cutting back on trash pickup, selling off city-owned properties and raising the city's income tax, 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.

Other ideas presented at the public hearing at the Police Training Academy included turning off city street lights, raising the hotel guest tax and charging at-fault motorists in automobile accidents for police time.

One man pointed to a 10TV investigation on police and fire overtime, suggesting the city take a look at reducing that cost.

"Almost 900 city employees (make) up $10,000 a year in overtime," the man said.

City Auditor Hugh Dorrian said an increase in the city income tax is very likely. Columbus has had a 2-percent income-tax rate for more than 25 years.

"If we look at the ten largest cities in Ohio, they all have tax rates greater than the City of Columbus," Dorrian said.

Dorrian said voters will likely face a ballot issue in November to raise the income tax to by a quarter to a half percent.

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Previous Stories:

January 7, 2009: Columbus Saw Record OT Payments In 2008
November 21, 2008: Proposed Recreation Cuts Draw Protests
November 18, 2008: Budget Cuts Can't Be Avoided, Coleman Tells Council
November 10, 2008: No Raise For Mayor Coleman, 400 Non-Union Workers