In Middle of Pandemic, Warren City Council To Raise Taxes

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WARREN, Pa. – Warren City Council voted 4-3 during its regular meeting Monday night to raise property and earned income taxes as part of the 2021 budget.

“I never thought I’d live to see the day in the United States of America, that the government could tell you, you can’t go to work, you can’t employ yourself, but we can take more money from you,” Councilman John Wortman said. “It’s unconscionable.”

Property taxes will increase by one mill from 19.8 to 20.8 mills and the Earned Income Tax (EIT) will go up .1 percent from 1.2 to 1.3 percent. Councilmen Gregory Fraser, Phil Gilbert, Paul Giannini and Doug Hearn voted in favor of the increase.

“There’s never a good time to ask the public to pay for what they’re getting,” Fraser said. “The public always wants to pay less, but that’s the price of civilization, the price of living in a city, the price of streets that don’t destroy the frame of your vehicle.”

Joining Wortman in voting against the increase were Christian Zavinski and Mayor Maurice Cashman.

“There are people starving,” Zavinski said.  “I’m not saying that our $30 a year increase is going to be life or death for people, but I think they expect it out of us to be as fiscally prudent as we can.”

More on the budget and other items from the council meeting will be published Tuesday.