News release from the Hughes for Mayor campaign:
Hughes stresses no new taxes
Highlights Need for Stability with Small Business Owners
Former Allen County Council President and candidate for Mayor of Fort Wayne Paula Hughes continued to stress the need for city government to work with the private sector to get Fort Wayne working again by highlighting the importance of avoiding higher taxes.
“Fort Wayne small business owners are struggling,” Hughes said. “They need to know that someone is protecting their interests and making sure that they won’t be facing a higher municipal tax bill.”
In January, Paula Hughes became the only candidate running for mayor to sign the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge and has made fiscal responsibility the cornerstone of her campaign.
“Each month, I have to account for each nickel earned and spent,” said Crown Cleaners owner Abdul Aziz. “Having certainty in my tax bill will allow me to make better decisions for my business going forward. A tax increase could be the difference between buying new equipment, laying off staff, or even being open at all. Paula Hughes’ pledge to protect taxpayers is critical to job creation.”
In a stark difference to Paula Hughes, Mayor Henry has not signed the taxpayer protection pledge and has a long history of supporting tax increases. While on Fort Wayne City Council, he was the author of the County Option Income Tax (COIT)1. Additionally, Henry pushed for a $3.7 million tax increase2 during his first month as Mayor of Fort Wayne.
“There are many differences between the Henry administration and what a Hughes administration will look like,” Hughes said. “I have pledged to protect the best interest of the taxpayer while Mayor Henry has made raising taxes the hallmark of his lengthy political career.”
In addition to discussing taxes at Crown Cleaners in Georgetown Square, Paula Hughes also tried her hand at running the dry cleaning press.
Paula concluded her visit by thanking Mr. Aziz and his staff. “There are a lot of things that need cleaned up at City Hall and this training will be valuable.”
1 – AS A CITY COUNCILMAN, TOM HENRY SPONSORED LEGISLATION TO ESTABLISH THE COUNTY OPTION INCOME TAX
In The Late 1980s, As City Councilman, Tom Henry Sponsored A Bill To Establish The County Option Income Tax.
“â€˜People hate taxes,’ City Councilman Tom Henry, D-3rd District, said. So it was a gutsy move in the late â€˜80s when he and fellow Councilman Don Schmidt, R-2nd District, sponsored a bill to establish a County Option Income Tax.” (Cindy Larson, “Henry, Who Has Served Five Terms On City Council, Helped Establish The County Option Income Tax,” The News-Sentinel, 12/23/03)
Henry Was One Of Two That Voted For The Tax, Which Failed That Year. “Council gave the tax the boot that year, with only Schmidt and Henry voting for it. â€˜Don and I took it hard, but we hung tough…” (CindyLarson, “Henry, Who Has Served Five Terms On City Council, Helped Establish The County Option Income Tax,” The News-Sentinel, 12/23/03)
“A Year Later, In 1989, The Tax Passed Council.” (Cindy Larson, “Henry, Who Has Served Five Terms On City Council, Helped Establish The County Option Income Tax,” The News-Sentinel, 12/23/03)
2 – IN 2008, “ONE OF MAYOR TOM HENRY’S FIRST ACTS AS MAYOR” CALLED FOR A $3.7 MILLION INCREASE IN FORT WAYNE’S PROPERTY TAX LEVY
“One Of Mayor Tom Henry’s First Acts As Mayor Will Be To Ask The City Council To Undo A $3.7 Million Tax Cut, Potentially Forcing Homeowners To Pay Higher Bills This Year.” (Benjamin Lanka, “Henry Asks City Levy Be Restored,” The Journal Gazette, 1/11/08)
Tom Henry Sought To Increase The Property Tax Levy From $99.4 Million To $103.1 Million In Light Of The Governor’s Plan To Cut Property Taxes. “In light of the governor’s plan to cut property taxes, one of Mayor Tom Henry’s first acts as mayor will be to ask the City Council to increase the city’s tax levy from $99.4 million to $103.1 million for this year.” (“Week In Review,” The Journal Gazette, 1/13/08)