Public safety tax rate increase approved to pay for additional IMPD officers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 8, 2014)-- The Indianapolis City-County Council approved a tax increase on Monday that will add more police officers to the force.

The council passed the public safety tax rate increase 19-10. It will raise income taxes in Marion County from .35 to .50 percent, adding up to about $5 a month for the average working taxpayer.

Still, debate over how to fund public safety and fix the city's crime problem remained at Monday's meeting.

"This isn’t a problem that you can snap your fingers and fix. This is going to take years and years to fix," FOP President Bill Owensby said.

Mayor Ballard has said he would like to see 280 additional police officers in Indianapolis over four years, while the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) would like to see 500 added over five years.

The council did not pass the elimination of the homestead credit, despite Republicans' attempt to revive it in an amendment Monday. A panel will vote on eliminating the credit next week.

Mayor Greg Ballard issued the following statement:

“The City-County Council tonight took action on one piece of my plan to make Indy safer by providing part of the money needed to hire more police officers. The funding approved tonight is $2.5 million less than we requested for IMPD. I hope to continue working with the Council on a plan to fully fund IMPD and our initiative to make high-quality pre-K affordable to children from low-income families in Indy. It will take more than just hiring additional police to make our city safer; we must address the root causes of crime as well.”