Mahoning County Commissioners say sales tax increase critical to - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Mahoning County Commissioners say sales tax increase critical to maintaining local government services

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Mahoning County residents had another opportunity on Monday to learn more about a proposed sales tax increase.

Close to a hundred people turned out for the sales tax meeting in the county courthouse.

Elected officials outlined the state of the county after more than $10 million in funding cuts over the last three years.

The proposed sales tax hike of one-quarter of a penny would generate an additional $7 million annually.

If you purchased a $500 refrigerator the additional cost would be $1.25. If you spent $10,000 for a used car it would add an additional $25.00.

Commissioners say it's a user tax and only applies when you buy something.

But some feel it has a disproportionate impact on the poor and would rather see companies that get large tax abatements held more accountable.

"If they're not creating jobs or they're not investing in the way they promised, there's a way to kind of recoup some of that money," said Rebecca Soldan,  Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative.

New funding is expected to be generated by the boom in oil and gas exploration and one resident said he would support a temporary tax until those dollars come in.

The tax revenue from Ohio's new casino's is shared 50-50 with the city of Youngstown and falls far short of the millions the county has lost in funding cuts.

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