An Urbana tax levy that would help fund emergency services failed Tuesday night, according to unofficial results from the Champaign County Election Board.
With all precincts reporting, the unofficial results show 64 percent of voters declined the income tax while 36 percent of voters said yes.
The results show 395 voters said yes while 694 said no. The Champaign County Election Board totals show that about 14 percent of registered voters participated in the election.
The income tax levy would have increased the city’s income tax by .6 percent, making the city’s total income tax 2 percent. The city’s income tax has remained 1.4 percent since the early 1990s.
The money would have gone to police, fire, EMS and other city departments, including personnel and went into effect July 1.
This isn’t the first time Urbana voters have rejected tax questions. This is the third time voters said no to an increase of the cities income tax over the last two years.
In May 2018, voters said no to raising income taxes 66 percent to 34 percent. The city tried again to raise income taxes in November of last year, taxpayers said no by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin.
Lt. Josh Jacobs with the Urbana Police Division said that funding from the levy would have helped the department reestablish their crime investigation unit.
“We had to disband the unit in 2015 because of lack of manpower,” Jacobs said. “That unit predominately deals with things like death scenes, drug trafficking, child abuse, sex crimes, things that are a little more involved.”
Jacobs said because the levy would have helped fund the crime investigation unit and help the department better serve the community.
“We want to do the most we can for the community, and we are going to do everything in our power to do that,” Jacobs said.
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