If Youngstown’s population of 66,971 came as a shock to you, as it did Mayor Jay Williams, just wait until the number behind the overall number is made public. It will cause a political earthquake, not only in the city, but also throughout the Mahoning Valley.
When it is revealed that the majority of Youngstown residents do not pay the ridiculously high 2.75 percent income tax because they are on fixed incomes — welfare or Social Security — the ramifications will be evident. A shrinking city that is unable to generate revenue from its own residents and must depend on suburbanites who work within the corporate limits is a city on borrowed time.
Indeed, it will be interesting to see how many of the Youngstown residents who do have jobs are slopping at the public trough: City government, county government, the federal and state courts, social service agencies and Youngstown State University.
There isn’t an easy answer for what ails Youngstown, because even city government workers who earn pretty big salaries have bolted to the suburbs. Perhaps if they all came back to live in Youngstown the future wouldn’t be so bleak.