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Time to roll back city tax

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published December 2, 2007

If Youngstown city government is so flush with money that it can afford huge pay raises for public employees who are mediocre at best, with average qualifications and education, it's time the private-sector taxpayers got a break. If Mayor Jay Williams and city council aren't willing to decrease the income tax rate by a half-percent, then a citizens' initiative is demanded.

Ever since the half-percent tax increase was approved by voters several years ago during the tenure of then Mayor George M. McKelvey, city employees have been raking in the dough. Meanwhile, Youngstown's homicide rate is still among the highest in the country, the city school system is a disaster financially and academically, neighborhoods are still deteriorating and job-creation (in the private sector, at least) is anemic.

The tax increase was meant to improve the quality of life of Youngstown residents, but the only ones who seem to have benefitted are those on the public payroll.

The latest move by city council to give department heads and other managers raises of more than 10 percent over two-plus years is a slap in the face of workers in the private sector who have had to deal with layoffs and concessions.

Having the highest municipal income tax rate in the state of Ohio is a distinction that Youngstown could do without.

The time for true leadership on the part of the mayor and lawmakers is now.

If department heads and manager agree to forgo the increases, then Williams should seek concessions from the rest of city government's workforce.

But if greed prevails, then a grassroots campaign to roll back the tax will be launched.



1jireland1(41 comments)posted 8 years, 4 months ago

hello bertram

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2markfromniles(1 comment)posted 8 years, 4 months ago

Some Taxing Thoughts:

The talk of the WRTA proposing a sales tax levy is nothing more then additional money poured down the drain for an antiquated transit system. I would hope citizens are not foolish enough to pass a sales tax for a system that has long outlived its usefulness. For every dollar a citizen puts in the fare box the federal government and other government agencies put in seven. The budget of the WRTA needs a thorough audit and in particular attention payed to board members travel, expenses, and benefits. Many cities have changed to demand traffic systems rather then route based systems that WRTA uses. Other cities have gone to smaller mini-buses to conserve on fuel. Any simple observation of the number of empty seats on a bus at any given time would surely dictate the need for smaller and or fewer buses. The number of riders is greatly exaggerated by the WRTA management.

The arena project was doomed from the beginning and now the city will have to bear an additional financial burden to support it. It will eventually, as predicted, become the Youngstown flea market. Global has now been fired by two cities, Hidalgo, TX and Youngstown, OH.

Mahoning county bailed out the city of Youngstown's airport, by creating the Western Reserve Port Authority. Another complete bottomless pit of tax money.

Now Youngstown wants to pass a school levy, when will it ever end? The citizens are taxed off.
When will it ever end?

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