Mahoning County, Ohio: Residents weigh new vehicle tax against ‘critical’ infrastructure needs

During a public hearing on a proposed $5 tax to Mahoning County motorists which would pay for county road and bridge projects, most voiced support. Others said they’re already taxed to the hilt.

The recently enacted Ohio House Bill 26 allows county commissioners to tack the fee onto vehicle registrations after hosting two public hearings – the second of which was in Boardman Township on Monday evening.

“Overall, I think it’s been an overwhelming ‘yes,’” county Engineer Pat Ginnetti said after the hearing, adding officials did not hear from any detractors during the first hearing last week in Green Township.

The law allows counties to spend proceeds from the tax on public roads, bridges and viaducts; street and traffic signs, markers, and signals; and capital-debt obligations. The tax is subject to a referendum.

The commissioners will now choose whether to approve a resolution to enact the fee. Twenty-one other Ohio counties already have, Ginnetti said.