MENTOR, Ohio (WJW) – A few months from now, a local county will see a sales tax increase, but the hike comes with a bit of controversy.
“It’s important to note that this is the third sales tax increase in the past 10 years,” said Ray Kirchner, Mentor City Council at-large.
Mentor City Council is pushing back against the Lake County commissioners over a sales tax increase of a half percent.
“We decided to put out a resolution stating our concerns and asked them to rescind the sales tax,” said Kirchner.
According to Kirchner, Lake County will now have the third highest sales tax in the state at 7.75%, right behind Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties.
“This one is especially hard on the community because we are experiencing inflation and possibly a recession,” said Kirchner.
“Quite simply for me, this is a public safety issue,” said Commissioner Richard Regovich.
On Wednesday, Regovich and John Hamercheck both defended their decision to vote for the increase. Commissioner John Plecnik voted against.
“One of the things that prevents businesses from expanding is crime. That is what we are hearing from our courts, sheriff and our prosecutors,” said Hamercheck.
“We need to maintain our staff, maintain our people, attract new people and right now we are having a tough time doing that,” said Regovich.
Meanwhile, city officials are concerned that Mentor will bear the brunt of the tax increase. The city of Mentor ranks sixth in the state in retail sales volume.
“This isn’t just restaurants and commercial stores, this is manufacturers, car dealers. They are all going to pay more,” said Kirchner.
According to the commissioner’s office, the new rate will take effect on April 1.
“I can see their concern, but we are talking a dollar for every $100 spent,” said Regovich.