The city council voted in favor of a one-cent sales tax at their meeting Wednesday night to expand services and avoid layoffs next year due to city’s financial decline.
“The city desperately needs this money or there is a chance that we’ll have to start laying off workers next year,” councilwoman Wilma Rudolph said. The one-cent sales tax will cost the average family in the city $75 per year, according to treasurer Joe Black, and will raise $400,000 for the city next year.
With this extra money, the city would not have to lay off jobs, and could also expand existing services like twice a week garbage pickup.
Mayor Sadecki spoke against the tax, but was one of only two of the seven council members who voted that opposed the tax.
“I believe the people are taxed too heavily now. I don’t believe they want this,” Mayor Sadecki said, “I think they want to look at our budget and see where we can cut back.”
Before the tax proposal, the council voted 5–2 against a proposal to move a cemetery in order to build a supermarket on the 2800 block of Forbes Street. Many of the council members opposed the idea due to the potential noise and traffic of a supermarket, as well as the concept itself of moving existing graves to another cemetery.
The cemetery proposal was the most heavily talked about proposal of the night, causing most of the audience to leave following the voting.
The final proposal of the evening was a proposal to license morticians in the city, proposed by councilman Mazeroski. Despite Mazeroski’s insistence, several morticians in the audience corrected him, saying that even if the state gave the right to license morticians to the city, it would not bring any funding to the city as all funds from the licensing would have to be turned over to the state.
Because of the discrepancies, the council voted 6–1 to table the proposal until further review and an opinion from the state attorney general.