Boardman’s push to get share of tax irks county
Mcnally, righetti cite benefits from services
By Ashley Luthern
Mahoning County commissioners oppose the idea of Boardman Township’s getting a piece of the county sales tax, arguing that the township already receives benefits in the form of county services.
“Those sales-tax dollars provide services that are mandated by state law,” said Commissioner John A. McNally IV. “The site of where the transaction takes place is not really important. These are all dollars that are raised in Mahoning County and are spent for services [in] Mahoning County.”
Mahoning County collected more than $27 million in sales tax in 2010. Boardman officials have argued that at least 50 percent of that is generated in the township.
Boardman trustees have asked state lawmakers to consider introducing legislation that would allow urban, home-rule townships that generate 50 percent or more of the county’s sales tax to take some of the sales tax generated within its borders.
Such a law would directly benefit Boardman and another township near Cincinnati.
Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti said she was “very taken aback” by the idea.
“They just passed a levy for God’s sake with their people for police, and now they need more money?” Righetti said. “Do they realize that they do get some of that money when they get the roads paved and through the sheriff’s department. Those are benefits for their people in Boardman Township.”
In August, township voters approved a 3.85-mill, five-year additional police levy that will generate about $3.8 million annually.
Righetti said she and most likely her fellow commissioners would support trying to get all the township trustees in the county to work together with the county.
“Maybe we have too many layers of government. As long as the county is mandated to have ‘x’ amount of elected officials and mandated to have various levels of court systems and county jail ..., those operations require at least a 1 percent sales tax to be in place,” McNally said.
“Peeling off a quarter percent or peeling off a half percent, which is $7 million, dramatically affects county operations,” he added.
The county collects two half-percent sales taxes, one of which is permanent and the other must be renewed every five years. Boardman officials had suggested the quarter to half a percent figure last week.
“These things we do downtown in the commissioner’s office are services that the people of Mahoning County pay through the sales tax. [Boardman] gets their cut, but those services are still for everybody in Mahoning County,” Righetti said.