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Bosco: COVID projected tax losses could top $500,000

EAST LIVERPOOL — City Auditor Marilyn Bosco has estimated the city’s lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic to exceed a half million dollars, according to conservative numbers she provided council members during a Tuesday finance committee meeting.

In addition to determining that the city is looking at 10 percent less in tax collections, Bosco told the audience that she expects that to be even higher on municipal taxes with so much job loss and business closure.

She predicts large decreases in revenue from everything from Local Government Funds (LGF), gasoline taxes and funds that supplement the safety forces. “There is a three-month lag time from the state from when the funds actually are received and then sent to the municipalities,” Bosco explained, adding she usually receives monthly transfusions but won’t have a true picture until July of the projected losses.

She also reminded council members that she will have an additional pay period this year, which will amount cost just below $200,000 as well the escalating health insurance that has gone up $400 per employee for the family plan since 2018.

The committee also approached requests to create a separate line item for the East Liverpool Health District to monitor its COVID-19 funds, which she would estimated would be around $12,000, and a request to apply for funding through the Ohio Office of Community Development for grant funding.

No action was taken on two resolutions, which would disallow the city of Salem, the largest size municipality, from voting on whether to allow for use of an alternate LGF appropriation formula. Committee members wanted more information before making a decision to exclude them, especially since East Liverpool had once been in their position.

Bosco was to revamp an ordinance that she had presented the committee that would allow exempt non-union employees for use of flex time for presentation at the next meeting, as the committee members didn’t agree with the proposed one-to-one hour proposed and wanted to keep the current one hour worked to one hour and half credited.

After the meeting, council met in special session to consider two ordinances — one to move forward on second phase of the downtown project, which continues the work on Broadway to Market on Fourth Street as well to reaffirm the license plate fee, which had to be amended to include the correct Ohio Revised Code section. On the fee, that measure still managed to pass despite both Ray Perorazio and Craig Stowers opposing it.

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