LISBON - While the majority of issues were supported by voters on the May 6 election ballot, residents of the West Branch School District did not support an income tax, which failed by about 70 percent in both Columbiana and Mahoning counties, according to complete but unofficial results.
The district was seeking a five-year 0.75 percent tax for current expenses that would have taken effect nest January and would have generated about $2 million annually.
According to previous reports, the tax was being sought to address a projected deficit of over $1 million in two years.
Superintendent Dr. Scott Weingart was quoted in April saying all West Branch employees have gone four years with no increase in their base salary, while paying more for health care premiums, and staff also agreed to further salary concessions which saved more than $78,000 for the school district.
The district asked voters in November to approve the same levy, but on a continuous basis. It was rejected by 53 percent.
On Tuesday night, 1,751 Columbiana County voters weighed in on the tax, with 1,190 against and 561 for, while Mahoning County voters rejected the measure by 1,223 to 507.
The district reportedly opted for the income tax because the board of education believed it was better to have all residents with an income paying into it instead of property owners alone.
A levy for additional operating dollars was last passed in 1997, and the district has cut about $1 million in staffing since 2008, according to reports. Those cuts included 18 teachers, eight bus routes and an administrator.
The board indicated in April that if the levy failed, cuts to programs and services would be "imminent," with the cuts geared toward high school and middle school athletics, band, choir, art and electives.
Tax issues for other schools in Columbiana County were supported by voters Tuesday, with the Beaver Local 5.3-mill emergency renewal levy passing by just three votes. The levy was originally passed in 1994 and expected to generate $1.2 million a year over five years.
United Local's 3-mill permanent improvement levy was also renewed with 65 percent in favor, and will generate $185,000 a year, while Wellsville's 2-mill permanent improvement levy renewal passed by 73 percent. It will generate $51,900 a year.
Other issues passed were an 8-mill fire levy renewal for East Liverpool that will generate $633,000 annually over five years, and 2-mill and 0.5-mill road levy renewals for Madison Township that will generate a combined $56,900 a year.
The fire levy was supported by 72 percent of voters while the road levies were supported by 69 percent and 71 percent.
The renewals result in no cost increase to tax payers.
The Four Seasons Mini Mart local option for the business on Calcutta-Smith Ferry Road in St. Clair Township passed by 57 percent. The business sought Monday through Saturday sales of alcohol in sealed containers for carry-out only.