Duffy said the council estimates that only 1.5% (not the full 2.0%) could be credited if a person’s income tax was paid to another community. She added that the council felt it was the fairest way to ensure the police service was supported.
“We’ve been able to weather economic changes so far, but we won’t be able to in the future,” Duffy said. “We have a strong residential base and we need to protect the homes and lives of our people.”
Duffy said the proposed increase is not a plan to expand the police department, only to stabilize it.
Police Chief Will Rogers said passing the income tax increase would maintain what the city already has and hopefully bring about minor improvements.
Carlisle reverted to city status after the 2020 census and now has a population of 5,001. The city has a full-time staff consisting of a police chief and seven sworn officers. The police department’s budget for 2022 is just over $1 million, according to chief financial officer Ryan Rushing.
Duffy said Carlisle’s first 1% income tax was approved by the council in 1989 without a people’s vote, as state law allows.
Carlisle voters approved a 0.5% revenue increase in 1994 for police departments. Duffy said that was the last time voters approved a local income tax hike.
The last time Carlisle forced a 0.5% income tax increase on the ballot was in the May 2015 special election, where he failed 59% to 41%, according to Warren County Board of Elections records.
The Carlisle Police Department has struggled to keep officers on the streets in recent years as larger departments have hired experienced officers for better pay.