Voters in Columbiana County will decide 1% sales tax renewal

Local News

Commissioners say the sales tax is extremely important to Columbiana County's budget

COLUMBIANA CO., Ohio (WKBN) – Voters in Columbiana County will have to decide on a sales tax renewal this fall.

Mary Schall and several of her friends traveled from Austintown to spend the day in Columbiana.

“Neat little places to look into and you can just be busy,” Schall said.

She said she doesn’t mind paying sales tax on her purchases. The tax isn’t a factor in her decision.

Just a few hours before, Columbiana County commissioners approved putting a renewal of the 1% sales tax on the November ballot.

“We’re not going to ask for more money than we need to operate the county,” Commissioner Michael Halleck said. “There’s not a large surplus and all that, but we’ve been very frugal and cost-conscious.”

The sales tax is extremely important to the county budget.

“The 1% would bring in probably ten, twelve million,” Halleck said.

That’s more than half of the county’s annual revenue. Halleck said Columbiana has a higher sales tax rate due to some decisions commissioners made several years ago.

“In exchange for reducing the property tax, maybe the only county in the state that came up with that.”

Columbiana’s rate is comparable to surrounding counties.

Josephine Gutwald said she doesn’t mind paying the tax and wishes other counties would follow Columbiana’s example.

“When you shop, you pay the taxes. If you don’t shop at that store, you don’t pay the taxes. That’s why I think it should be higher and lower the land taxes.”

The tax was last approved by voters in 2015. It will expire at the end of 2020.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this web story said the one person at the meeting was in opposition to the sales tax. That person was not in opposition to the sales tax. We regret the error.

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