Sales tax proposal defeated in primary voting, Ironton recreation levy up in the air

Published 11:21 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022



A proposed sales tax to fund the construction and operation of a new Lawrence County Jail was defeated by primary voters in Tuesday’s election. And a renewal levy for Ironton recreation was up in the air with a tied vote.

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With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the sales tax was defeated 65.64 to 34.36 percent.

The Lawrence County Commissioners voted earlier this year to put the sale tax on the ballot after the county received $16.8 million for a new jail. Commissioners said the sales tax would fund the remainder of the $32 million project.

The half percent tax would have excluded food and gasoline purchases and would have been paid, not just by those in the county, but those from elsewhere in Ohio and out of state when making purchases in the county.

Commissioners recently moved to take the former Lombard Elementary School out of consideration for the site of the jail, after residents of the surrounding neighborhood voiced their concerns. The commission announced last month that the jail would instead be constructed in a nonresidential area, the site of a former cement plant on Adams Street and County Road 24, that would be annexed to Ironton.

As for the Ironton recreation renewal levy, the vote was tied at 731 to 731.

Whether it is passed or fails depends if there any more votes, such as absentee votes, for or against the levy. Under Ohio law, a levy must be passed by the majority of voters for it to take effect.

Ironton City Council president Chris Haney said it was a crazy election night and that he hopes the levy does indeed pass.

“We would like to see it pass because our parks are used by a lot of the residents and kids really enjoy them,” he said. “We do appreciate everyone that voted for it because we can use it for the youth and we would like to expand adult recreation, if it passes. So, we remain hopeful.”