By Tony Sandleben
The Fishers City Council unanimously approved an income tax increase of .1 percent to help fund the Hamilton County Dispatch Center.
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said the tax adjustment is meant to more evenly spread out the payment for the center.
“Back in 2012-2013, the Town of Fishers entered into an agreement with all the large communities of Hamilton County to consolidate our dispatch center,” Fadness said.
Fadness said the plan was for all county communities to help pay for the center, but that did not happen.
“Several smaller communities in northern Hamilton County, early on in the stage of this consolidation, did not pay anything into that agreement,” Fadness said.
Fadness said the money is important to keep first responders well-equipped for emergencies. He cited last year’s Noblesville West Middle School shooting as an example.
“The active shooter scenario that we had in Noblesville last year, when we had several different jurisdictions responding, thousands of calls being flooded, we had to make sure that we had the reliability of a sustainable network that would allow us to communicate in those critical minutes that make the difference between life and death,” Fadness said.
Not everyone supported the measure.
Fishers resident Michael Colby said a redistribution of funds should pay for the center, not a tax increase.
“I recommend you take a look at some of the spending that’s being done elsewhere in the community and redirect those funds to pay for this to keep it off the backs of the taxpayers,” Colby said.
City councils in Carmel, Noblesville and Westfield also must discuss the tax increase. If city governments including half of the population of Hamilton County approve the increase, it will become law.