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City Issues 1, 2 deserve renewal

Steubenville officials are making a very simple request of city residents when they cast their ballots in the May 4 election.

They are asking for the continued ability to maintain services residents continue to use on a daily basis, including streets, refuse collection, police and fire services and recreation.

All of that is made possible by the 0.7 percent and 0.3 percent income tax levies that are up for renewal.

Issue 1 is the renewal of the 0.7 percent tax, which will generate $500,000 for street improvements; $300,000 for capital improvements and in the past has included the purchase of equipment for police officers and firefighters; and $100,000 for recreation improvements, with the remainder going to the general fund. The city’s budget estimates it will generate $2,915,000 in 2021. It was first passed in 1981 and has been renewed every five years since, and has helped the city make major improvements and leverage dollars for state and federal grants.

Issue 2, which was first passed in 1986 and has been renewed every five years since, is the renewal of the 0.3 percent income tax. The city uses 85 percent of the money generated by the levy for continuing operations, including safety forces and municipal employees, with 15 percent going to street improvements. According to the city’s budget, it will generate $1,389,700 in 2021.

When considered together, the levies provide a vital revenue stream, one which ensures a continued investment in infrastructure, safety, recreation and municipal services, while supporting existing services.

The city always has been transparent about how the money generated through the issues is spent, with the breakdown clearly spelled out. And, the city stresses, the issues are income taxes and will not affect residents who are retired or on a fixed income.

Plus, city residents should remember they are renewals, which means they are not new taxes.

Definite results have been achieved by both issues since they were first passed — city residents can ensure that will continue by voting yes to the 0.7 percent and 0.3 percent income tax issues.

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