Mahoning commissioners to have hearings on sales tax increase
The Mahoning County commissioners passed a resolution this morning to conduct January public hearings concerning a sales tax vote in May.
County Budget Director Audrey Tillis said a quarter percent increase, which would generate an extra $7.5 million in annual revenue for the county, is necessary to compensate for losses of revenue in recent years from the state, from the county’s investments and from the loss of federal prisoners in the county jail.
Carol Rimedio-Righetti, chairwoman of the county commissioners, said the commissioners will consider either placing a single issue on the May ballot to renew a current half percent tax continuously and to add an extra quarter percent for five years; or splitting the two issues into two separate questions.
The county’s other half percent sales tax is already a continuous tax with no stated expiration date.
The commissioners also entered into a $430,158 agreement with MS Consultants Inc. of Youngstown for engineering services for the widening of Western Reserve Road between Hitchcock Road and Market Street. The widening project will be funded in full by the federal government.
The commissioners also entered into a $259,000 contract with Prout Boiler, Heating and Welding Inc. of Youngstown for boiler replacement at the county’s Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center, which has had the same boiler system since it opened in 1979.
The commissioners also voted to apply to the Ohio Department of Development for a $50,000 grant from the local government innovation fund for a study to help plan for the future of 911 emergency dispatching services, including possible consolidation of the county’s eight 911 answering points into fewer answering points.