April 19, 2014

Elyria
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Voters in Lorain restore income tax credit

LORAIN — Issue 23, the vote to repeal an emergency ordinance by the City of Lorain to reduce the income tax credit for residents who work outside the city from 2 percent to 1 percent, won at the polls Tuesday night.

Voters approved the repeal, 8,605 to 7,295, or, 54.12 percent to 45.88 percent.

“This was real grassroots,” said former Lorain law director and director of operations Michael Scherach, one of the leading proponents of Issue 23. “A lot of good people came out to help get this on the ballot and pass it.”

Lorain mayor Tony Krasienko described the repeal as “potentially devastating” for the city.

Krasienko said the defeat wasn’t a huge surprise.

“Look at the voting,” he said. “It’s tough to get anything tax-related passed right now.”

The city voted to reduce the income tax credit in December of 2009, declaring an emergency in doing so. Both moves angered opponents of reducing the credit.

Scherach, who had led a petition drive in 2008 to fight a similar proposal and got about 3,500 signatures before the city backed down, led the charge again this time. He and others got about 2,500 signatures on petitions to put the repeal on the ballot.

City auditor Ron Mantini has said that cutting the income tax credit from 2 percent to 1 percent would mean an additional $2.4 million in revenue for the city.

Scherach accused the opponents of Issue 23 of shady politics, handing out a flier he said was strikingly similar in design and style to one proponents of repealing the tax credit had sent out earlier.

Contact Melissa Hebert at 329-7129 or mhebert@chroniclet.com.