Sales tax increasing in Lake County, residents want issue on ballot

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 1:10 PM EST
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LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - In a two to one vote earlier this month, the Lake County commissioners voted to increase the sales tax by a 1/2 percent.

The vote angered many residents, who want to see the issue on the ballot this November.

In order for that to happen, organizers need to collect just under 10,000 signatures on a referendum petition in the next several weeks.

“Let Lake County vote for the sales tax increase. This effort that we are trying to process here. It is not for the tax increase or against the tax increase,” said resident Lyndsie Wall.

Under the Ohio revised code, the commissioners have the authority to approve the tax increase without placing it on the ballot.

19 News was told the reasons for increasing the sales tax is to invest in public safety.

Commissioners Richard Regovich and John Hamercheck voted yes to the sales tax.

“We need to feel safe in our homes, schools, and businesses,” said Regovich.

“There’s a number of people who seem to think there’s gonna be massive amounts of money being banked for investment purposes. That’s not true there’s a number of myths that are coming up,” said Hamercheck.

Commissioner John Plecnik voted no, and was the first to sign the petition.

“Two people should not decide for 232,000. But you can’t say yes to everything. You can’t be all things to all people. We do put law enforcement first but we’re going to have to prioritize it rather than saying you don’t get to eat today,” said Plecnik.