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Austintown trustees approve replacement levy

December 6, 2011
By J.T. Whitehouse
Austintown Township Trustees approved a 2-mill replacement levy during a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 5.

“We are attempting to restore the funds we have lost from the state,” said Township Administrator Michael Dockry.

Over the past couple of years, Austintown has steadily been losing state dollars. The losses are coming from personal property tax, estate tax and local government funding from the state.

Dockry said the personal property tax was a tariff paid on inventory for commercial businesses. It was replaced by the state with the CAT tax, or commercial activities tax.

“It steadily decreased,” Dockry said. “This year it is gone and we received nothing.”

Dockry said in 2007, the township received $370,000 from the tax.

The estate tax is another form of local funds that the state has taken away. Dockry said that averaged $250,000 to $300,000 per year. It has been reduced and will completely go away on Jan. 1, 2013.

At the Nov. 14 regular township meeting, Michael Kurish gave the grim outlook from the loss of taxes.

“By 2015, we will receive $1.5 million less from the state,” he said in the meeting. “Then we will either have to reduce services or ask for a tax levy.”

In an attempt to maintain the quality of the police department, trustees had to take a look at the upcoming renewal levy for the police department. The levy was originally set at 1.6 mills and brought in $355,000. Trustee agreed to put a 2-mill replacement levy on the ballot that will bring in $1,177,218 while only costing the taxpayers an addition $5 per month on a $100,000 home.

Trustees had to make the decision on the replacement levy quickly as the filing deadline for the March 6. 2012 elections was Dec. 7.



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