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Commissioner Ditzlet warns of local government cut

Published: Sat, February 22, 2014 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Joe Gorman



Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler on Friday said he was concerned about additional cuts to the money the county receives from the state’s local-government fund.

Ditzler, commissioner chairman, said this underscores how important it is for the county’s half-percent sales-tax renewal to pass at the polls in May.

Commissioner Anthony Traficanti said that, as of February, the county has lost an additional $100,000 in local-government revenue, bringing the total cut to $3 million over the last three years.

Traficanti said that, as long as the state keeps building its rainy-day fund, and not giving money back to the communities, Mahoning County will continue to lose local government funds.

Ditzler said $100,000 might not seem like a lot, but it could hurt other county agencies that need money to use for a match for state grants. He said it is imperative that the sales tax passes because the county will be losing out on money from the state that it normally receives back.

Ditzler said the state raised the sales tax in 2013 but all of that money goes to the state.

Voters in the county are being asked to renew one of the county’s two 0.5 percent sales taxes at the polls this May. County officials have said that even if the tax passes, the county still will have a deficit of about $2 million by the end of the year.

The county’s general fund is funded by two half-percent sales-tax measures. The other half-percent measure is continuous, meaning it has no expiration date.

In other business Friday, commissioners voted to reject a request to annex 18.6 acres from Canfield Township into the city of Canfield. They said the land to be annexed does not share a common border with the city, which is one of the requirements for annexation.

The land was to be used to build a new nursing home. The site is bounded on the north by state Route 446 and on the east, south and west by the Mill Creek MetroParks Farm.

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