Steubenville levy deserves a ‘yes’

Citizens of Steubenville have been paying the city’s 5-mill operating levy for a couple of generations now, and they’re being asked to renew it when they go to the polls Nov. 7. The levy has been renewed every five years for 50 years now, and there’s no reason for them not to do so this year.

The levy generates about $633,000 a year for city operations, especially the police and fire department salaries. We cannot imagine there being a city resident who would recommend reductions in personnel in those two vital safety services, which still cover the same territory as they did decades ago.

Money from the levy also goes toward general city operations, the street maintenance fund, municipal court, recreation, building and planning department and street lighting.

The operating levy is part of a trio of voter-approved funding sources the city raises for itself, the other two being a pair of income taxes, also renewed in recent years as they have been for decades.

The city faces crucial decisions about operations and safety and recreation and planning every day. To do so with the same territory serving a reduced population is a tough enough job with all the current funding streams in place. The local money is the only reliable source of income for the city’s coffers, given the near-constant grind of federal and state budget cuts to communities.

The people of Steubenville won’t be paying more by renewing this tax, but failing to renew it would mean they’d be receiving much less in terms of service from their government.

We urge Steubenville voters to vote “yes” to renew the city’s 5-mill operations levy.