Salem Reporter wants your input on which cuts or other strategies city leaders should consider if voters don’t approve a payroll tax in November.
Tag: payroll tax
Salem councilors discussed alternatives to deep cuts should voters reject a wage tax, hoping to preserve the west Salem library, city jobs and maintain parks.
City leaders released a plan outlining the next several years of proposed cuts to keep the city budget balanced if the payroll tax fails in November. The cuts would reduce programs at the Salem Public Library, limit park maintenance and increase wait times for emergency response.
A Town Hall open and free to the public will explore issues around Salem’s new wage tax. Salem Reporter is hosting the event Oct. 11 at the Elsinore Theatre. Voters will get a chance to decide whether the tax stays.
During Monday’s city council meeting, councilors voted 6-3 to reject a motion to repeal the tax, meaning it is still set to go to the November ballot. Both sides of the motion said they were voting in the best interest of rebuilding public trust.
Councilor Julie Hoy is proposing the Salem City Council repeal the new payroll tax at a meeting next week. But whether a repeal would stop a citizen vote on the tax in November isn’t clear.
City Council President Virginia Stapleton and volunteer policymakers have formed the “Save Salem Campaign.” An opposition effort has already raised $134,000.
Church at the Park has expanded its sheltering services over the past year under contracts with the city of Salem. But city money to pay for the programs runs out in June 2024, while a new tax that would help cover operations is headed to Salem voters.
With the referendum for payroll tax heading to the November ballot, Salem Reporter sent additional questions to the councilors who voted against the tax about how the city should address a budget shortfall and potential cuts that would occur if the tax was voted down.
County officials confirmed Friday that the petition to put the Salem Payroll tax on the November ballot reached the required 3,986 verified signatures to qualify for the election.