- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

Voters should think of needy in deciding on levy renewals

Published: Thu, October 25, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

With the national economy struggling to get traction after a recession that began in late 2008, and a private sector job market that’s anemic, at best, the word taxes carries an even greater negative connotation today than in the past. Taxpayers expect public sector employees to make the same kind of sacrifices they have made over the last several years. Thus, the growing aversion to approving any new taxes — and even some reluctance to renew those that are in effect.

While we have embraced Gov. John Kasich’s call for governments at all levels to do more with less, we also recognize that a blanket rejection of all tax issues would undermine important services needed by society’s most vulnerable.

Thus, The Vindicator appeals to the goodwill of area residents with regard to several tax renewal issues on the Nov. 6 ballot. In Mahoning County: 0.25 percent sales tax for five years for the Western Reserve Transit Authority; 0.5-mill levy for Children Services Board; and, 0.1-mill for tuberculosis prevention and control programs. In Trumbull County, a 1.5-mill, 10-year levy for the Fairhaven Mental Retardation program.

It is worth repeating: These are not new taxes. They have been on the books for some time and taxpayers have gotten used to paying them. We believe the agencies that receive the money have been good stewards of the public dollars, More importantly, area residents who are benefitting from the programs would be hard-pressed to fend for themselves if the services were cut or reduced. Providing a minimum-wage worker with a cheap mode of transportation, as the WRTA does, isn’t a handout; investigating child abuse and neglect complaints, as the CSB does, isn’t government overreach; testing for and treatment of tuberculosis, at a meager cost to the public, isn’t bureaucratic make-work; and, providing services to more than 1,000 children and adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities, as the Fairhaven program does, certainly can’t be criticized by even the most ardent anti-tax resident.

Here’s a synopsis of the four renewal issues:

Western Reserve Transit Authority

Although the 0.25-percent sales tax does not expire until the end of 2013, transit officials are being “safe” in putting the issue on next month’s ballot.

Approval now would give the executive director, Jim Ferraro, the board of directors and the staff a year to prepare for operational changes that would make the system more efficient.

The money generated by the county-wide tax covers 70 percent of the transit authority’s funding. The rest comes from fare-box revenues and federal grants.

In 2011, the WRTA received $7.5 million from the sales tax. Voters approved it in 2008.

Since then, bus service has been extended to all corners of the county, while the EasyGO door-to-door service is growing in popularity.

The bottom line is that the WRTA has kept the promises it made initially, and there is nothing to suggest that it would not continue to do so if the tax were renewed.

Children Services Board

The $1.3 million generated by the 0.5-mill levy is used for general operating expenses. It was first approved in 1982.

In addition to investigating child abuse and neglect complaints, the agency offers parent education, foster family care, emergency shelter, group home residences and adoption services.

TB Services

The 0.1-mill levy, which was first approved by the voters in 1976, funds a clinic on Glenwood Avenue.

While the number of cases locally and nationally has gone down through the years, the prevention and control programs are key in keeping the lid on this potential public health problem.

The levy generates $176,540 a year.


The 50-year existence of the program is a testament to the caring and sensitivity of the residents of Trumbull County. The children and adults who utilize the various services did not choose their disabilities. Yet, they live their lives the best they can.

The 1.5-mill levy is a small price to pay for a program that is designed to help those who cannot fully help themselves.

We have no doubt that most voters will not hesitate to renew the levy; it is the right thing to do. A rejection would cause undue hardship to those who need all the help they can get because it would force spending cuts.

Among the programs are school services for individuals aged 6 to 21 that are based on individualized education plans developed in partnership with the staff and parents. For infants and toddlers, there is early intervention to promote growth and development.

And there’s help for families.

The Vindicator strongly supports the renewal of the community-based levies.


1NoBS(2758 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

The WRTA tax was slid in as the "entitlement crowd" swarmed the polls to vote for Obama. They're counting on that same thing happening this time. THAT's why the issue is on the ballot a year early. It was a brand-new tax then, and is now seeking its first renewal. It hasn't "been on the books for some time" and a lot of voters are still resentful of having to pay for something they do not want, did not ask for, and will not use. All the new tax did for those outside the city and its immediate vicinity is let empty buses travel out "into the country" and back again.

Yes, "Easy Go" extends to wherever one wants to go, which appears to support the argument that the entire county benefits from this windfall for the WRTA. But a ride on a fixed route bus costs an adult $1.25, while the Easy Go ride costs an extra two dollars on top of that. Plus, one has to schedule an Easy Go ride 24 hours in advance. That flies in the face of their claim of providing transportation for the disadvantaged to get their sick children to the doctor. Whose kids let you know 24 hours ahead of time when they're going to be sick?

Vote NO on the WRTA renewal.

Suggest removal:

2redeye1(5612 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

When it come to the WRTA levy , I too will be voting NO. As well as my family members. Until they get rid of Jim (free spending) Ferraro .I will not give them another dime. If I have to I will shop in areas that don't ssupport this unfair tax. If they have to they should just charge more for their fares. After all that's spreading the wealth around too.

Suggest removal:

3peggygurney(408 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I vote YES to all of the renewals.

Suggest removal:

4DontBanThisDrone(1036 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

The reason people are fed up with taxes, is because they watch the government personnel take 8 out of every 10 of thos dollars and just put it straight into their pockets.

You really can't blame them.


Suggest removal:

5mishmash(333 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

The WRTA levy is a WASTE, let alone they spend their Taxpayer Levy monies on POTITCAL COMMERCIALS.

I wish someone like SKOLNICK would look into the Campaign Finance Validity on that one.... the Vindy will not allow him to.

Suggest removal:

6walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I was exiting the Wal-Mart in Liberty a couple of months ago and a WRTA bus pulled up. A young man who was sitting on a bench in the entryway jumped up with his packages, quickly grabbed his forearm cruthces and he scurried to catch the bus, moving as fast as anyone! AT that point I told myself I would continue to support this levy. This is a service that many types of citizens can utilize and disabled people can have a level of freedom and independence. C'mon man, it is 25 cents on $100 of taxable goods that everyone pays, including the disabled that use the bus. A tax like this that is so close to home that you can see the benefits of is OK with me.

Suggest removal:

7DontBanThisDrone(1036 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago


I agree 100%. Public transportation is one of the VERY few tangible products/services that government provides via reciprocating our tax dollars back to us for a very cheap price.

How else can you get transportation for a couple bucks per day?


Suggest removal:

8city_resident(528 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

"If they [WRTA] cut waste now , they could reduce or eliminate the levy - & there IS waste ."

The levy covers 70% of their operating expenses. While I'm sure there is room for improvement, they aren't that wasteful! And, according to past Vindy articles, they can't ask for a smaller sales tax.

Suggest removal:

9DontBanThisDrone(1036 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

It's not waste, it's theft. As long as they have you convinced to call it waste, you deserve everything you get, lol.


Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes