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Valley arts supporters want state approval for cigarette tax for arts

Published: Fri, July 11, 2014 @ 9:55 p.m.


It’s been almost five years since the Power of the Arts organization was formed to encourage and fund arts and culture in the Mahoning Valley.

On Friday, arts supporters attending a town-hall style meeting learned it will take continued lobbying in Columbus to make the change in Ohio law needed to give local voters the opportunity to levy cigarette taxes that would generate the funding.

Atty. Mark Mangie, co-chairman of the Power of the Arts, said the POA’s lobbyist in Columbus continues to talk to lawmakers to encourage them to allow counties as small as Mahoning and Trumbull to ask voters for the tax. He and other arts supporters spoke at Bliss Hall on the Youngstown State University campus.

Cuyahoga County officials succeeded in getting state law changed to allow it to use cigarette taxes for an arts district. In 2007, voters approved a tax of 30 cents per pack of cigarettes to fund it. But the law was written only for counties of 1.2 million people or more.

Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County has something similar — a sales tax that funds its arts and culture district, Mangie said.

Despite that funding for Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the Mahoning Valley has an “embarrassment of riches” of arts, he said.

It is “probably one of the most-concentrated areas of arts between Chicago and New York. Other parts of the state don’t have that,” he said.

Read more about the proposal in Saturday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.


1JoeFromHubbard(1532 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

These folks amaze me, they abhor smoking but are first in line to ask smokers for money.

Eventually tobacco taxes will kill the golden goose.

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2Silence_Dogood(1558 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I have an idea, if you want to generate money for the art's, place a ten dollar tax on every picture,sculpture,painting sold. That makes more sense then taxing the tobacco industry.

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376Ytown(1318 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

"Despite that funding for Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the Mahoning Valley has an “embarrassment of riches” of arts, he said."

I thought "tax the rich" was popular these days. Now they want to "tax the poor" (smokers) to pay for the embarrassment of riches of arts.

Tax tobacco if you want but put it to good use. Help fund the Obamacare subsidies.

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4DontBanThisDrone(854 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I would say fine, we'll give you as much tax dollars as you want, but not a single dime of it can go to payroll.


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5janeyblue3(83 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Tax beer.

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6DontBanThisDrone(854 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

^ lol


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7LtMacGowan(693 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Tax self righteous arse-wholes

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8tnmartin(463 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

another of those "I want this and YOU must pay for it regardless of your wishes, dog of a peasant! " Then they can feel noble about themselves.
How about they just take up a collection between themselves or sell t-shirts with a logo, or are such efforts beneath the literati?
I'll willingly throw a few shekels in the hat, but only so long as it is voluntary.

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9DSquared(1566 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Make those liberals pay for their own crap already!

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