Chamber backs Mahoning County sales tax, state Issue 1

YOUNGSTOWN — The board of directors of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber has unanimously endorsed the continuous renewal of the half-percent Mahoning County sales tax and a state public works bond issue. Both will appear on the May 6 ballot.

That half-percent sales tax raises about $15.5 million annually and is a significant part of the county’s $50.2 million annual general-fund budget.

Another half-percent county sales tax is already continuous.

There is also a quarter percent, five-year mass transit sales tax in Mahoning County, which supports the Western Reserve Transit Authority.

The county’s sales tax totals 7 percent, with the first 5.75 percent going to the state.

The bond issue, which was placed on the ballot as State Issue 1 with near unanimous legislative support, would authorize $1.875 billion in bonds over 10 years for road, bridge, sewer, water and other infrastructure projects.

That program was first approved in 1987 and renewed in 1995 and 2005, with about $8 million in Issue 1 money approved last year for Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

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