Administrators push for tax to support road works in Mahoning County
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Unity Road in Springfield Township has been repaired so many times over the years that some places are more faded in color than others. In the meantime, work continues to pave a section of busy Mahoning Avenue.
The desire to do more road works across the county prompted members of the local association of trustees to ask Mahoning County commissioners to hold public hearings to assess support for a sales tax levy on five years. The measure would be put on the ballot in the fall to pay for road works across the county.
“The point will be that there would be paving in our township hopefully every year, unlike now where it isn’t every year because we didn’t have the money to do it.” , said Jodi Kale, administrator of the canton of Berlin,
Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti said his budget, which is heavily dependent on gasoline tax and license plate fees, has stagnated for decades and the growing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles does not help.
“If there are fewer cars on the road or more efficient cars that buy less gasoline, it makes it harder for us,” Ginnetti said.
While projects like Mahoning Avenue require years of planning to secure the necessary federal and state grants, less traveled township roads rarely qualify.
“With us always at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to getting grant opportunities, we’ve always been left at the bottom of the pile,” Kale said.
Administrators say they would like to add a quarter of a percent levy to the county’s sales tax, raising about $ 9 million a year, specifically earmarked for road repairs and construction. They claim that 40% of what is collected now comes from people who live outside the county. Administrators admit that it will be their job to sell the idea to voters.
“It will be our job to go there. The engineer is going to come with us and we’ll go around and talk to people, ”Carano said.
The public hearings will take place on July 19 and 22.