HUBBARD Residents in city get tax reprieve

Township residents will pay the tax, and it's a possibility that city residents could be taxed later.
HUBBARD -- City residents will not have to pay a new tax on electricity, at least for now.
Council decided Monday that the city-owned electric system will not collect from about 3,280 customers living in the city, but 280 customers in Hubbard Township will pay the tax, which became effective May 1.
Both Mayor George Praznik and Councilman William Williams, D-at-large, chairman of council's utilities committee, said, however, there is a possibility that city residents could end up paying the tax in the future.
The tax would average $2 to $4 a month for residential customers, based on the amount of kilowatt hours used.
Praznik said an increase in taxes paid by businesses was a primary consideration in not imposing the tax on residents.
Joe Slick, electric department superintendent, has estimated the tax would have generated $168,000 if everyone paid.
Financial fix: Praznik said that if city finances begin to suffer, the tax will be collected from residents.
The city, which buys electricity wholesale as a member of American Municipal Power of Ohio and resells it, will collect about $17,000 annually from township residents.
Williams also reported that three businesses in the township have asked the city to sell it power, but no decision on that will be made until the city and township work out a joint economic development district, or JEDD.
Under the proposed agreement, the city will not annex the businesses and would collect income tax revenue. In exchange, the township would get the property taxes.
Council approved the annexation of Bell-Wick Bowl and its seven acres. The owners requested the move so it can hook into the city's sanitary sewer system.
Lawmakers rezoned from residential to commercial a parcel on which Hubbard Gas and Mini Mart operates at Youngstown-Hubbard and Jacobs roads.
Atty. Edward Czopur, who represents property owner Daniel Sullivan, told council the property has been used commercially since at least 1967 and should be zoned as such.

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