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Council to request commissioners share casino tax revenue

September 17, 2012
TOM GIAMBRONI - Staff Writer ( , Salem News

LISBON -Village Council is poised to join the growing list of communities to officially request county commissioners share the casino tax revenue they receive from the state.

But council was unable to act at last week's meeting due to lack of a quorum. Members Jeff Snyder, Willis Coleman and Roger Gallo were absent, leaving only Steve Defilippo, Mary Ann Gray and Joe Morenz, which was not enough to officially conduct business.

On the agenda was the casino resolution, which will be brought up for a vote at the next council meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 24.

Although Lisbon was the first community to suggest Columbiana County commissioners share casino tax revenue, Salem City Council beat them to the punch by adopting a resolution nearly two weeks ago.

The money they are after is a share of the taxes generated by Ohio's first-ever casinos in Cleveland and Toledo, which opened in May. The taxes are supposed to be split among the 10 largest cities, all 88 counties, school districts and the state.

Commissioners received a check for $94,000 in July, which represented about five weeks worth of tax collections. Communities such as Lisbon, Salem and others think it is only fair commissioners share some of the tax revenue.

The only commissioner to address the issue to date is Jim Hoppel, who said he is opposed to sharing, at least for now, because of the county's uncertain financial future.

In other business last week, council member Gray said she provided the village solicitor with a copy of the ordinance recently passed by Leetonia council that requires banks to advise them when a foreclosure occurs within the community. She wants Lisbon to do likewise, saying this will enable the village to keep an eye on foreclosed properties, while also providing them the names of the property owners so they can go after them when the homes fall into disrepair and the lawns go unmowed.

Morenz said he would also like to see the village adopt a resolution prohibiting lending institutions that initiate foreclosure proceedings from changing their minds once the occupants are evicted or leave on their own. He said lending institutions are doing this after learning the condition of the property, choosing instead to let the homes sit vacant until the market improves to where the bank believes it can get a better price.

"That's not fair for the people of any community who have to live by one of those houses," he said.



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