Sunday, May 05, 2002

Canton mulls $5 license-tag tax to cut deficit

The Associated Press

        CANTON — Mayor Richard Watkins wants to add a $5 tax to the cost of a license-plate tag to help plug a $4-million hole in the city's budget.

        Residents would pay $32.25 a year for a license tag if the increase is approved by City Council.

        Legislation is to be introduced Monday night.

        The license-tag tax would bring in about $440,000 a year, beginning next year, for the city's general fund, which pays for firefighters, snow-plow drivers, police officers, and street and bridge repair.

        The general fund has suffered losses because income-tax collections have dipped.

        Councilman William Smuckler, a Democrat who opposes the tax, said council members soon will make proposals to trim the deficit by cutting spending.

        “I'm not going out on the limb for any license tax,” he said. “It's not the answer. The answer is cuts.”

        Mr. Watkins also said he'll suggest cuts soon.


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