Mahoning County to vote on sales tax for road improvements

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STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN)- Polls in Mahoning County open at 6:30 a.m.

There are plenty of county races, issues and levies that voters will see on the ballot. One of them is the Mahoning County sales tax that will be used for road improvements.

It’s a quarter-percent sales tax. The levy would last five years and generate $9 million a year, totaling $45 million. One hundred percent of the money would go to roadway infrastructure – no salaries, buildings or equipment.

Right now, county engineers are solely funded from the gas tax and license plate sales. Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti says their budget has been stagnant for years. He says as it remains flat and prices continue to increase, and they’re doing less and less each year.

“This is really our only option at this point to try and get caught up. We’re the fifth-largest county in the state of the Ohio with respect to road miles, but we don’t have the fifth largest road budget. Again, because of the way funding works,” Ginnetti said.

Each county in Ohio gets the same amount of funding from the gas tax and license plate revenue, despite how big or how small.

If this passes, collections will begin next January and they’ll go out and take measurements to see if any culverts or pipes need to be replaced. Paving would begin in 2023.

Ginnetti says they already have a plan in place and he hopes to be in each township every year working on the worst roads and then work their way up that five year plan.

We will have the election results on and the WKBN mobile app Tuesday evening.

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