CRAIG BEACH Council votes for levies

Council has met the Board of Elections' Thursday deadline.
CRAIG BEACH -- Village Council voted unanimously Monday evening to place a 1.5-mill replacement fire levy and a referendum on a 1-percent village income tax on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Council voted 6-0 to suspend its rules and place the issues on the ballot, meeting the Thursday deadline set by the Mahoning County Board of Elections. Five votes from the six-member council are required to suspend the rules requiring three readings and a 30-day waiting period, and four votes are required for enactment of such measures.
At the urging of Councilman Dennis Champion, council agreed unanimously to replace a specific reference to the Craig Beach Volunteer Fire Department with a general reference to fire protection and emergency medical services to keep the levy valid if the name or status of the agency providing those services changes. The five-year fire levy would continue to generate about $14,000 a year.
The vote concerning the income tax allows the tax, re-enacted by Council earlier this year, to be placed on the ballot for a referendum vote, which was called for by a petition drive. The flat 1-percent income tax would only be on earned income, not government benefits and entitlements, and would apply only to those 18 and older.
Mayor Camille Gaia said the 1-percent income tax generated about $68,000 a year in 1998, the last time it was collected before being repealed by the voters.
Council was unable to act on these ballot questions in an emergency meeting last Thursday because only four council members were present.
Street levy: Also going on the ballot Nov. 6 is a 3-mill, five-year replacement levy for street maintenance, which council placed on the ballot earlier this year, and which would continue to generate about $28,000 a year.
For the street and fire levies combined, the mayor said he pays $82.70 a year for his three-bedroom, 960-square-foot ranch home, which has a market value of $57,400, and that isn't likely to change much.
As replacement levies, the street and fire levies have lower millage than the levies they would replace, but they will generate about the same amount of revenue as the existing levies because the valuation of village property has grown over the years, the mayor explained.

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