CRAIG BEACH Mayor: Defeat of income tax to hurt service

A levy was approved for Mill Creek Metro Parks.
CRAIG BEACH -- The streetlights could soon be dark in this village, Mayor Camille Gaia III says.
Gaia said that because voters did not support a 1-percent income tax measure in Tuesday's election, village officials won't have the money to pay for some services. Those services could include electricity to the village streetlights, Gaia said.
"The big loser is going to be the people," he said. "If they don't want to pay for it, they're not going to have it."
Unofficial election results show that 59 percent of village voters cast ballots against the income tax measure, which would have generated between $70,000 and $75,000 annually. Gaia said village officials also may have to furlough their lone street department employee because the tax measure was defeated.
"There's no money there," he said. "Things will have to be cut back." Gaia has said that without the tax, the village could end the year $22,000 in debt.
Opposition: However, Lawrence Christopher, chairman of the grass-roots Citizens for Good Government, noted that the village has survived without an income tax for the last three years. A 1 percent income tax was repealed in 1998.
Citizens for Good Government opposed the tax measure. Christopher said he thinks the income tax vote makes a "double statement" to village officials.
"People don't want more taxes; they want government to utilize the resources they have," he said.
Gaia noted that other tax issues approved by voters Tuesday will allow village officials to maintain a fire department and apply for grants to fix village roads. The levies that passed were a 1.5-mill, 5-year replacement levy for the fire department and a 3-mill, 5-year levy for street improvements.
What passed: Voters in Mahoning County also approved a 1.75-mill, 15-year replacement levy for improvements and maintenance in the Mill Creek Metro Parks, and a 2-mill, 5-year renewal levy to help pay for the operational costs of the county Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Board.

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