Voters OK Warren tax, nix Hubbard school levy
By Sarah Lehr
Trumbull County voters approved a half-percent income tax for the city of Warren, but rejected a new levy for the Hubbard Exempted Village School District.
Renewal levies throughout the county passed handily, according to unofficial results.
Hubbard Superintendent Raymond Soloman said the district will consider going back to voters for approval of a tax hike in the future after voters rejected a new, 10-year, 7.1-mill emergency operating levy Tuesday.
Soloman also spoke of spending cuts to avoid an operating deficit, though he said he could not yet specify what those cuts would be.
A tally of 6,714 Hubbard district votes showed 54.93 percent voting against the levy, which would have generated $1.44 million for the district annually. It would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home $248.50 each year.
Levy proponents said the tax revenue would have offset state funding cuts and maintained existing services.
WARREN INCOME TAX
In Warren, however, city voters approved a half-percent tax on income to generate between $3.5 million and $4 million annually.
A count of 14,359 votes showed 51.67 percent voting in favor of the tax spike.
Warren Mayor Doug Franklin has said the increase is necessary to avert what he described as “drastic” spending cuts, which would have included the elimination of 10 police officers.
Franklin said he anticipated that the vote would be close.
“Any time you ask for a tax increase in a presidential race, it’s an uphill battle,” he said at Enzo’s Restaurant after the results came in.
“The fact that we won is a credit to our unions and the citizens committee that took an independent, objective view and looked at the need for the increase.”
Three unions accepted new contracts in October that cost the city no additional money.
Additionally, Hubbard Township voters approved a three-year renewal of a 1.75-mill police levy to generate $148,638.46 annually and approved renewal of a five-year, 1-mill roads and bridges levy to generate $95,033.76 annually.
LIBERTY, GIRARD ISSUES
In Liberty, voters approved five-year renewals of a 1-mill fire levy to generate $171,174 annually, a 2-mill fire levy to generate $419,511 annually and a 2-mill police levy to generate $342,349 annually.
Girard voters approved five-year renewal of 1-mill garbage levy to raise $57,000 annually and renewal of a separate 1.1.-mill garbage levy to bring in $76,000 annually.
Additionally, Girard voted in favor of a new, five-year 0.5-mill parks and recreation levy, which would generate $54,829 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $17.50 per year.