Warren needs half-percent tax to avoid deficit, officials say


City officials have added up Warren’s losses in revenue: $400,000 less estate taxes in 2016 compared with 2011, $632,000 less in local government funds from the state and $186,000 less state government funds compared with 2011.

Warren’s 2016 budget is $25 million, but it expects to take in $23.5 million in 2017.

“Since 2008, expenses have been cut by $5.3 million, a 17.4 percent decrease,” a citizens committee headed by local businessman Paul Clouser said in a report to the city administration this summer.

The committee looked into the city’s finances and said the city’s anticipated revenue in 2017 without the tax, $23.5 million, is about the amount the city received in 2000.

“In this committee’s view, this amount is simply inadequate to provide for the health and safety of the citizens,” the committee wrote in the report. It endorsed the half-percent income tax Warren voters are being asked to approve Nov. 8.

The committee said the city is facing a deficit of $1.4 million to $1.8 million if the tax isn’t approved.

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

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