Benton Harbor City Income Tax Fails - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Benton Harbor City Income Tax Fails

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Benton Harbor residents voted down a city income tax Tuesday. 

The final vote was 543 yes and 667 no.

The money would go to the city for things such as street and sidewalk repairs. 

People who live in the city would pay 1%. Those who work in Benton Harbor would pay .5%.

Alex Clayton lives in Benton Harbor and is worried that creating an income tax will slow business growth in Benton Harbor.  "This area is developing quite a bit faster and to keep it that way, I think we should keep income taxes down," Clayton said.

Bob Blower doesn't live in Benton Harbor, but works there. He says this bill is taxation without representation.  "I don't get to vote." Blower said, "I work in the city of Benton Harbor and they are voting on whether or not to tax me."

Mayor James Hightower says he's pleased that the tax failed, "I feel great. I feel elated. For this to be put down, I'm almost at a loss for words. But I just have to say, the citizens of this community have spoken."

Commissioner Trenton Bowens says his camp is not giving up, they'll work to get the proposal back on the ballot in May. "I was always taught when I was little, never give up. That's going to be the story about Benton Harbor. We will never stop trying. When we're counted out, or underestimated, Benton Harbor always rises to the occasion," says Bowens.

Voters also placed votes for commissioners.  Incumbent Juanita Henry ran against Floyd Thomas for the third ward.  She won her race.

Two At-Large candidates were be chosen from Margie Carter and incumbents Marcus Muhammad and Duane Seats. Muhammed and Seats won those positions.

In the fourth ward, one of the candidates dropped out of the race. Incumbent Dennis Knowles resigned at Monday's Commission meeting. He was up against Ruthie McCoy Haralson. Haralson won that race.

FOX28's Amanda Fay will be in Benton Harbor for the election. She'll have live results on FOX28 News at 10.

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