Mentor Leaders Urge Lake County to Repeal Sales Tax Increase

Mentor Leaders Urge Lake County to Repeal Sales Tax Increase

Mentor Leaders Urge Lake County to Repeal Sales Tax Increase: Leaders in Lake County are currently debating raising the sales tax. The county’s sales tax rate of 7.75% is now the third-highest in the state after the county Board of Commissioners authorized a 0.5% hike this month. The Mentor City Council voted unanimously in favor of a motion on Tuesday asking the commissioners to reverse the tax increase.

“We disagree with a raise at this time, given the state of the economy, the inflation rate, and the cost of gasoline. We hope they’ll reconsider their mind because everyone is struggling to make finances meet, said Mentor City Council member John Krueger.

Due to its reliance on retail, mentor leaders think that the rise of other parts of the county will more impact the city. According to Council President Matthew Donovan, Mentor is Ohio’s sixth-largest retail center. He voiced fears at a public forum in late December that the tax increase would tempt prospective buyers to spend their money elsewhere.

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“Municipalities depending on income taxes face the consequences when sales decline,” added Donovan. “The business has to eat the half a percent on their goods or services, or they pass it on to the purchaser,” Krueger continued.

The members of the City Council are hoping that the County Commission will reverse the hike. However, John Hamercheck, head of the Board of Commissioners, told News 5 that repeal is unlikely to occur. “I am sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others. However, it would be best if you considered the facts and the figures, according to Hamercheck.

According to Hamercheck, the additional $16 to $20 million in revenue from the sales tax hike will be used for public safety. He said there are demands and stressors that our public safety forces, including our sheriff, prosecutor, and courts – of which we have seven – cannot handle.

The board president noted that to increase hiring, retention, and criminal prosecution, the sheriff’s office, and prosecutor’s office both intend to raise compensation to be more competitive with surrounding counties.

“Our prosecutor’s office is currently at capacity. They are unable to accept another case,” stated Hamercheck. “Non-residents of Lake County commit 46 percent of the major crimes perpetrated there. And a sales tax is the only option to collect money from areas other than Lake County.

Why the county doesn’t use some of the $38 million general budget surplus or the $100 million in investments is a question raised by opponents of the increase. “An increase in the sales tax is not necessary. Adapt your budget, according to Krueger.

Law, according to Hamercheck, forbids the board from using the investments. Additionally, he claimed that the coffers are insufficient to pay for the $15 million mortuary for the medical examiner and the $22 million needed for a new emergency operations center.

He said, “Those requests are much more than our general fund can afford.” Residents expressed their worries about the sales tax rise exacerbating the financial difficulties brought on by inflation during recent public gatherings.

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I am retired. I won’t return to my job to pay my taxes. One woman stated, “I worked for 50 years.
According to Hamercheck, the hike will improve the county’s quality of life by addressing crime and public safety issues.

“I don’t want to seem harsh, but crime is increasing. People must feel secure in their neighborhoods, he said. On Thursday at 10 a.m., the Board of Commissioners will convene again. We anticipate having more discussions on the proposed sales tax hike.