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Effort to repeal sales tax comes up short of its goal



Published: Fri, August 26, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The petition organizer said the campaign told county officials somebody is 'watching.'

By ED RUNYAN

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The organizer of an effort to repeal one of the new Trumbull County sales taxes said his effort fell short by about 1,000 signatures.

Bill Walls, who owns B & amp;B Automotive Machine at 717 W. Main St., said Thursday some petitions have come in within the past couple weeks, but he needed more volunteers to reach the goal.

The deadline for petitions to the Trumbull County Board of Elections was Thursday.

"We had a lack of volunteers. That's all. If I would have had five more volunteers, we would have gotten enough to put it on the ballot. It's a shame," he said.

Walls noted that this is a busy time at his business, and this left him without the time to work more on the petition.

He was helped by about 10 people in collecting the signatures. He said he felt bad for those volunteers who did not succeed.

This was the first time he has been through this process, Walls said, and if there's a next time he will know how to organize such an effort. "At least they know we're watching. That's important," he said of county officials.

Walls said he opposes the tax because government officials are imposing it on the people.

What tax is for

Collection on the quarter-percent additional sales tax for criminal justice services, such as the sheriff, started in July because it is an emergency measure.

Another new quarter-percent county sales tax now being collected is for general county operations. Earlier this year, Thaddeus Price of Howland had hoped to gather 7,170 signatures to force that tax onto the November ballot, but couldn't get enough.

Both new taxes are for a continuing period on retail sales. Each quarter-percent tax would generate about $400,000 per month, or about $4.8 million a year, if collections remain steady.

The county already collects a half-percent sales tax.

The two new taxes make the county's total sales-tax rate 1 percent.

The additional county taxes and the state sales tax washed out each other this summer.

Ohio's sales tax went from 6 percent to 51/2 percent July 1.




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