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More than 50 come out for final sales-tax hearing

Published: Mon, June 30, 2014 @ 8:29 p.m.

CANFIELD — Passage of the three-quarter percent sales tax slated for the Nov. 4 ballot is essential because of cuts in state funding to local governments, Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains told an audience of more than 50 this evening at the second of two public hearings on the tax.

“Columbus has taken money from us, and they’re telling us: ‘You have to now pay on your own. You’re on your own, people,’ and we are on our own,” Gains said.

“We’re coming to you because Columbus has cut us, and we have no choice but to come to you in order to maintain the progress that we’ve made in making this a safe community; and it is a far safer community today than it has been in the last two decades,” Gains added.

The county commissioners presented two sales tax options for public comment.

Both would renew an existing half-percent sales tax for five years and add a quarter-percent tax of the same duration.

Either option would raise about $24 million annually.

One of the options would restrict the money’s use to the sheriff’s, coroner’s and prosecutor’s offices and the 911 emergency dispatching center.

Of the county’s $53.3 million 2013 general fund budget, $39.1 million, or 73.43 percent, went to public safety and court functions of county government.

The second option would allow unrestricted use of the money in the county’s general fund, which is its main operating fund.

For the complete story, read Tuesday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1handymandave(566 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

People can't be as generous with tax money as they once were as they simply don't possess the financial resources that they once possessed. Most people I know have had to make adjustments in their own spending habits. Some have had to make choices between buying food or medication. I don't know if the sales tax will pass or not but if it does, those responsible for the gathering of the funds had better be very careful with the handling of the monies. The past abuses of the tax money is the reason people are reluctant to pass the tax bill now. It's whether or not the people of Mahoning County truly understand the need for the tax and believe that it is needed, that it will pass.

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2repeaters(310 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Columbus has been cutting that money for years and you have been raising taxes for even more years. At what point do you start adapting to not only the new funding, but to the current economic conditions? We will always have criminals on the streets which you know is unstoppable by the local law. Concentrating the wealth into the hands of a few (you are the new 1%); does that help to create new criminals? Realize that YOU, the public sector, is now your turn to bite the bullet, instead of pointing the levy gun at those who are struggling.

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3repeaters(310 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago


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4walter_sobchak(2585 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

The structure of county government in this state is outdated and needs serious revision. There are far too many offices that have their own "budgets" that need funded. We need to have a mechanism where employees can be spread between different departments.The auditor, coroner, recorder, etc., could be appointed positions with combined budgets. The other change that is needed is in the courts system. Under ORC, judges are kings and their budgets are totally set by them and commissioners must fund them or be subject to a court order. For a laugh, go to any of the county courts when traffic tickets are being adjudicated a look at how many employees are doing nothing at their desks. Until serious changes are made, I'm voting "NO".

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5grand4dad(214 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Right on Walter. Can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm voting NO too. It seems they still didn't get the message. We need serious changes in the way the county commissioners have been operating. Until then, no more tax money.

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