Mahoning commissioners set two sales tax hearings


YOUNGSTOWN

Mahoning County commissioners have set two public hearings on the county’s 0.75-percent justice sales tax levy, which will come up for another five-year renewal on the May primary ballot: 10:30 a.m. Jan. 14 in the commissioners’ board hearing room on the bottom level of the Mahoning County Courthouse, 120 Market St., and 5:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Boardman Township Government Center, 8299 Market St.

The tax has generated more than $25 million annually, which is the entirety of the county’s criminal justice fund, which funds the county sheriff, prosecutor and coroner offices, as well as dispatching services. That’s why county Sheriff Jerry Greene said its passage is critical.

“It literally is all or nothing,” he said.

Voters narrowly approved a renewal and increase of the justice tax by only 1,322 votes on the 2014 general election ballot, according to the county board of elections — about 51 percent to 49 percent. Voter turnout that year was 41.5 percent, which board IT Manager Chris Rakocy said was “a little low” compared to the 52 percent turnout for the 2018 general election.

Previously, the justice fund was supported by two half-cent levies and other general fund monies.

Read more in Tuesday’s Vindicator and on Vindy.com.

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