Mayor’s Friday release of income tax details makes for Labor Day weekend of study for Bloomington city councilmembers

Late Friday, after a noon work session, Bloomington city council members received some additional details from the city administration about a proposed increase to the local income tax (LIT). They’ll start considering it at a special meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 9 and could take a vote as soon as Sept. 16.

Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, has modified the rate and the focus of the local income tax that he pitched on New Year’s Day. It’s now proposed to be a 0.25-point increase instead of 0.5 points.

And instead of focusing just on sustainability initiatives like transit, affordable housing, energy, and local food—which Hamilton described in his State of the City address—it now includes a range of other projects.

Among the additional programs that Hamilton wants to fund with the extra LIT revenue are social services, jobs programs, bicycle-pedestrian infrastructure, curbside composting, health care, and parks capital development projects.

No longer a part of the mix is funding for public transit. Funding for the public bus system had been been a major part of the original proposal, about half of it. For many, it was a compelling reason to support an increased tax.

Several elements in the LIT draft spending plan release on Friday turn out to be continuations of initiatives that are included in the recently proposed 2021 budget, or programs that won the council’s approval in early August as part of a roughly $2 million appropriation ordinance. Continue reading “Mayor’s Friday release of income tax details makes for Labor Day weekend of study for Bloomington city councilmembers”