Investing in neighborhood infrastructure projects continues to be a top priority of my administration. We’re committed to addressing the conditions of our streets and roads so we can sustain and enhance Fort Wayne in order to keep and attract residents, businesses, and jobs.
One of the essential elements in accomplishing our infrastructure goals is to recognize that additional revenue streams are needed to support our neighborhood investments.
Two potential areas for municipal consideration are annexation and additional taxation of existing residents. Because of the neutral financial impact it would have had on City residents, my office chose annexation as the preferred method of revenue generation to meet infrastructure needs and grow our community for the future. This attempt, though, was ultimately voted down by City Council.
Earlier today, I reluctantly signed the wheel tax ordinance that was pursued and passed by City Council. It was not an easy decision. However, we simply can’t stop investing in our infrastructure system and jeopardize Fort Wayne’s momentum. Various factors, including City Council’s decision to move away from annexation and a reduction in revenues from the motor vehicle highway fund/gasoline tax put us in a difficult situation.
Over the past week, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss with the Allen County Commissioners the future infrastructure challenges of our City and County.
As a result of these discussions, I have concluded should the Allen County Council entertain the possibility of an additional wheel tax themselves, I will respectfully request our City Council rescind the municipal wheel tax. City residents having to pay two wheel taxes should be unacceptable.
Now more than ever, it’s important for all of us to work together to continue to make Fort Wayne a great place to live, work, and play.