WARREN - Trumbull County commissioners have reversed course on a decision to adjust a portion of ''bed taxes'' the county gives to run the Western Reserve Port Authority.
Their vote Thursday repeals the rollback of 1 percent of funding set to activate the first of October, a decision the chairman of the port authority board says it greatly appreciated.
Commissioners decided in July to reduce the port authority's bed tax funding to show their displeasure over a 10 percent bonus given to the aviation director at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and to prod their counterparts in Mahoning County to increase the percent contributed there.
Trumbull commissioners said the bonus sent a bad message to Trumbull County workers, whose wages have been frozen and they wanted to see greater parity between the percent contributed by Trumbull County and Mahoning County.
The port authority board since rescinded the $7,500 bonus payment to Dan Dickten, who had offered to not accept the money, and commissioners in Mahoning County increased the county's contribution.
Those actions ultimately led to commissioners in Trumbull reversing themselves Thursday.
''That's money that we really need at the port,'' said Commissioner Frank Fuda. ''It was a no-brainer.''
The bed tax, a tax on hotels and motels, is provided to the port from Trumbull and Mahoning counties. It accounts for a large portion of the port authority's budget.
Since the rollback wasn't effective until October, there will be no loss in funding to the port authority.
''We appreciate their action, we appreciate the vote of confidence they have in the port,'' said port authority board chairman Scott Lynn. ''As always, we will spend that money wisely.''
Commissioners in Trumbull County upped their bed tax in 2010 to the maximum 5 percent allowable under Ohio law and raised the dedicated amount to the port authority from 2 percent to 3 percent. The rest is given to the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau.
Before Mahoning County last month made the bed tax increase, the 3 percent charged there was split between the port authority and the Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Now, 3.5 percent of the 5 percent is dedicated to the port authority and the rest to the visitors bureau.
The increase in Mahoning County is effective Oct. 1.
In 2011, Trumbull County provided $341,000 to the port. Mahoning County contributed $503,154 over the same period.
The additional 1 percent from Trumbull County has accounted for more than $160,000 for the port since it was put into place.