East Palestine voters pass income tax increase to help staff first responders

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East Palestine fire on Vine Street

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Voters accepted a .5% income tax increase.

The city has been having a problem staffing first responders. Leaders said in December that 18 out of 24 hours, there is only one patrolman on duty because of East Palestine’s shrinking budget.

Leaders thought raising the income tax from 1% to 1.5% could be the solution.

In December, Mayor Alan Cohen said the income tax would generate about $200,000 for the city’s police, firefighters and EMS.

Of the additional revenue generated by the tax increase, 80% will be split evenly between the police and fire departments and the remaining 20% will go to the general fund.

Some city leaders were afraid an increase would discourage people from living in East Palestine.

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