Findlay sending out pink slips after voters reject income tax - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Findlay sending pink slips after income tax rejected

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Layoffs are looming in Findlay after voters there rejected a quarter percent income tax on Tuesday's ballot.

The budget plan is still being finalized but the mayor says the city will send pink slips out in the next few weeks to approximately 43 employees.

The Fire Department is bracing for the biggest hit. The president of the firefighters union says it would bring the department to staffing levels last seen before the 1980s.

Matt Cooper's job in on the line.

He's been a Findlay firefighter for seven years. He is also president of the IAFF Local 381.

The four engine, two ladder, four station, 66 firefighter strong department is expecting lots of layoff notices in the next few weeks.

"We've heard up to 23," says Cooper. "And we're waiting to find out what the administration is going to do and how they're going to move forward."

"They are folks who have dedicated their life to the city of Findlay and unfortunately we only have so much money in the piggy bank to deal with right now," says Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik.

Mayor Mihalik says the voters have spoken and now around 43 city employees will be laid off.

The failure of the quarter percent income tax results in a $6 million loss of revenue for the city.

She says departments across the board will face cuts including streets, engineering, and parks. Safety services will face the largest.

"The reason why they're our most significant cuts is because they are our biggest departments and they cost us 14 million dollars total. So 14 million out of 26 million right now, it's significant," says Mihalik.

"I don't think people really realize how much we do do until they need us," says Cooper.

Cooper says the firefighters union will likely appeal the need for the layoffs. Otherwise he says losing up to 23 of the department's 66 firefighters will result in slower response times.

"We're going to do everything we can to continue to protect the community the best way we can, unfortunately I think it's going to significantly impact the way we deliver our services," says Cooper.

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