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Canfield officials mull budget ideas as revenues decrease

Published: Wed, April 9, 2014 @ 11:12 a.m.

CANFIELD — City officials, meeting to discuss a new loan to restructure debt and build an extension to the police department, expressed concern over lack of revenue to keep the city operating within their budget.

Councilman John Morvay floated the idea of a capital improvement levy during the managers’ meeting in the Canfield city council chambers Wednesday morning. He said that would go toward the purchase of new vehicles, which the city has budgeted a new K-9 vehicle for the police department and a new plow truck, technology upgrades, and building improvements.

“I think we need it and we are at that point where we need to ask the taxpayers,” Morvay said.

However, Mayor Bernie Kosar, Sr., didn’t think another levy after the current school levy, in its first year, would be good to put in front of taxpayers. “I would oppose putting a levy on at this time,” Kosar said.

Tieche pointed to the city spending over their budget last year and are projected to spend $1.5 million this year with only $1.25 million in revenue expected to come in.

Council president Steve Rogers then talked about the idea of raising the income tax rate, which councilman Chuck Tieche said the city hasn’t raised their income tax rate from one percent since the city incepted. “Council can approve a tax increase of one percent without a [taxpayer] vote,” said Tieche.

Rogers proposed looking at a rate increase of 0.5 percent, to a total of 1.5 percent. The tax increase would help fill a revenue gap that has been falling, as council has been paying the difference in a water increase over the past eight years instead of passing it onto customers. That will change, with city officials deciding to have something in council that would pass the rate increase to customers effective July 1.

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