(Michigan City, IN) - All local governments in La Porte County are now on board for raising the local income tax for public safety. The last governing body to join in was the Michigan City Common Council which voted Tuesday night unanimously to support the proposed .05-percent tax hike.
Being the financial arm of the county government, the LaPorte County Council will ultimately decide at some point whether to adopt the rate hike.
Several weeks ago, the council wanting to gauge public sentiment, asked La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody to find out how many local municipalities in the county favor the proposal.
Dermody, who supports raising the tax to meet the needs of public safety, said he was excited all of the communities have bought into the idea by overwhelmingly adopting resolutions outlining their support for a higher tax.
Money from a higher income tax would make the wages of police officers and other emergency responders more competitive to stop in some departments' high turnover caused by higher pay in other communities.
Dermody said public safety is a cornerstone for any community, and to not act with this tax hike risks losing more officers.
The LaPorte County Commissioners released another plan that they believed would allow more money to go into public safety but would not have to raise taxes on LaPorte County citizens. The plan would include using some of the American Rescue Plan funds until a better option is found that doesn't raise taxes on residents.
Commission President Sheila Matias has questioned if this is the right time to raise taxes on residents with inflation and gas prices being so high. Dermody has largely dismissed the Commissioner's plan as something that would only solve the issue in the short term.