YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – School board member Jackie Adair this morning stood in the driveway of her east side Youngstown home, on which she owes $4,683 in delinquent property taxes.
Scattered throughout her yard were her campaign signs for reelection. Her reason for not paying her taxes: she’s a widow on Social Security.
“I’m not hiding from you or the public,” Adair said. “My reason is my income, which I’m embarrassed to have to go there on camera. But it is about my income, my Social Security income.”
Adair says there should be ways to help senior citizens and people who’ve fallen on hard times with their property taxes.
But, since 75 percent of the property tax in Youngstown goes to the schools, should school board members be held to a higher standard?
“We should be held to a standard that could reflect what we’re trying to tell our students, teach our students to be about,” Adair said.
Adair outlined her accomplishments on the Youngstown school board, calling herself “a staunch advocate for high academic achievement.” As the board’s curriculum chair, she has insisted on the return of computer tech classes.
As the former finance committee chair, she said she required reports to make sure the school system was being run properly. Adair has been on the board for eight years.
“My taxes have been in arrears for at least that long, so why was this issue raised anonymously by a person or persons this election year?” Adair said. “Apparently there are persons out there who fear my reelection.”
Adair would not say that the granting of tax abatements to businesses and corporations in the city of Youngstown was one of the reasons she’s not paying her property tax; rather it’s simply because she just doesn’t have the money.