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Two Groups Opposing Proposed City Tax Hike

Two groups are forming in opposition to the city's proposed one-half percent increase in the Columbus city income tax. That measure is on the August ballot, and city officials say hundreds of police and firefighter jobs hang on what voters decide.

Jarrod Weiss formed the group Citizens Against the Columbus Tax Increase. On its Facebook page, the group says "Higher income taxes will only drive businesses away and citizens on tight budgets will suffer."

Former mayoral candidate Bill Todd belongs to the other group opposed to the increase -- called Basics First. Todd says that the city's announcements about police and fire personnel reductions are misleading. Todd says there are two ways to treat voters.

"One of them is to provide them adequate information so that they can make informed choices as to what they think's important or not important for their benefit - the benefit of the community," says Todd. "And the other is to provide misinformation or scenarios that are unlikely to ever come true in order to try to derive an emotional response from voters."

Columbus City Councilman Andrew Ginther says city officials are not concerned about gathering opposition. Ginther says officials are concentrating on convincing voters to approve an increase in the income tax.

"And mostly focused on and interested in making sure we get our message out. That the vote on August 4th for the half-percent income tax increase is about maintaining basic city services and protecting the progress we've made in Columbus over the last 10 years," says Ginther.

1982 was the last time city officials asked Columbus voters for an increase in the city income tax.