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STARTLING: Freeman-Wilson Says County Tax Will go to Fire Department

25 Jul

In a response to Governor Pence’s request for additional information regarding Gary Mayor Freeman-Wilson’s request for Indiana State Police assistance in Gary, the Mayor says

Additionally, themajority of the anticipated resources we will receive from the 1.5% income tax will be dedicated to funding public safety equipment needs that have been neglected over the course of the past 10 years. As an example, there is a dire need for fire engines and other apparatus, gas masks, coats and boots for firefighters and squad cars.

The correspondence began when the Mayor called on the Governor to provide Indiana State Police support for Gary.  The Governor responded on July 11, 2013 asking for a detailed plan as to how the City would use money from the newly implemented County Option Income Tax to help fight crime.

The Mayor also submitted a plan entitled “Gary Indiana for Life” which stated Gary will hire new police officers but did not provide details:

Officers on the Street
There will be an increased presence of law enforcement on the streets
through the hiring of more officers and further implementation of Community Policing programs. In the short term, we are looking to augment the number of police on the street through our monthly saturation patrols in cooperation with neighboring departments and the assistance of Indiana State Police.

http://www.teamgaryindiana.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Synopsis-of-GI-For-Life-Plan.pdf

.25% of the 1.5% County Option Income Tax (COIT) is reserved for Public Safety and is to be divided among the county and municipalities.  The FOP and many police officers supported the COIT.  It should be noted that the Governor asked about that portion of the income tax revenue but Mayor Freeman-Wilson appears to be addressing the entire funding to be received under the COIT.

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