Mahoning County voters won't see sales tax increase on May ballo - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Mahoning County voters won't see sales tax increase on May ballot

Posted: Updated:

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A surprise move, as Mahoning County Commissioners decide not to put an additional one-quarter percent sales tax increase on the May ballot. So what led to the decision?

Commissioners say it was clear after holding public hearings on the issue, and listening to what was being said around the community, that an additional tax was not a good idea, at least not at this time.

The one-quarter percent increase would have been in addition to the 1% sales tax in Mahoning County that's already in place.

Commissioners, the Sheriff and Auditor say they do not want to jeopardize the sales tax "renewal" that's already up for a vote in May.

Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino is the county's chief financial officer, "I don't think it would have passed number 1. ... And number 2, I've listened to the people. I think it's time to be accountable, and do a better job of selling the 1/2% renewal which we need."

David Ditzler, the current Chairman of the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners tells 21 News, "As we saw several years back, when it was reduced by 1/2% to a 1/2%, we lost probably $50-Million coming into the county. ... And the time that it took to recover from that."

But county leaders maintain despite their decision, the additional one-quarter percent sales tax is desperately needed because revenue from the state's local government fund and other sources have reduced the general fund by $10-Million since 2008.

The county is likely to experience a $2-Million dollar deficit this year, and a $5-Million dollar deficit next year.

The justice system that supports public safety is the largest share of the county's general fund.

Sheriff Jerry Greene is concerned that his staff and jail operations will take the brunt of any financial cuts, "one of the unfortunate things is, I know that the biggest impact is going to be on my office. You know we've done a lot of things to be pro-active and generate money, but it's clearly not enough. We're a third smaller than we've been in the past. Everybody is working harder, doing a good job. I just hate to see something like this cut the legs out from under us."

Commissioner David Ditzler says he hopes they can revisit the issue of an additional one-quarter percent sales tax in November. But county leaders would like to have some type of independent audit done to support what they've been saying all along -- that they are doing more with less, and that a one-quarter percent increase is desperately needed. Commissioner Ditzler also believes earmarking the money specifically for justice system expenses, meaning the Sheriff's Department, the courts, the prosecutors office -- may make voters more supportive, because they'll know exactly where the money is being spent.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • 6 hurt when truck hits Dairy Queen near Pittsburgh

    6 hurt when truck hits Dairy Queen near Pittsburgh

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:26 GMT
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities say six people were injured and a gas line was damaged after a truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in suburban Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday in Penn Hills. A witness tells the newspaper that she was able to help an employee get out through a window after a cash register fell onto her. That employee, the manager and four men in the truck were taken to hospitals. The newspaper says firefighters secur...More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities say six people were injured and a gas line was damaged after a truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in suburban Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday in Penn Hills. A witness tells the newspaper that she was able to help an employee get out through a window after a cash register fell onto her. That employee, the manager and four men in the truck were taken to hospitals. The newspaper says firefighters secur...More >>
  • UPDATED

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:49:54 GMT
    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues," some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in their underwear or participate in sexually themed stunts.More >>
    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues," some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in their underwear or participate in sexually themed stunts.More >>
  • Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

    Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:38:16 GMT
    The family of an Indiana teenager who crashed in the Pacific Ocean during an around-the-world flight says he knew the risks and had prepared for them.More >>
    A man who saw a plane flown by an Indiana teen who was killed during an around-the-world flight attempt says the aircraft was flying low but didn't show any obvious signs of distress before diving into the ocean off...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms