Defunct Warren steel plant seeking millions in back taxes

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — The successors of WCI Steel, which hasn’t been in operation in Warren for at least a decade, is looking to collect millions in overpaid taxes from two Trumbull County school districts.

According to Trumbull County Auditor Adrian Biviano, Warren City Schools and Howland Schools owe WCI and its successors a combined $3,022,498.89 in tangible personal property tax for the years of 2001, 2002 and 2003.

This is being brought about because of a recent ruling by the Board of Tax Appeals for the Ohio Department of Taxation.On Wednesday, Trumbull County Commissioners approved hiring an attorney that deals with bankruptcy to determine what steps need to be taken to see what can be done to prevent those districts from having to pay that much money.

Biviano said it’s a strange case because the property tax was discontinued six years ago by the state and WCI also does not exist anymore. Biviano said that it would be different if the company was still in business generating revenue, which would give the school districts some room to work with when it comes to repayment of the tax.

School treasurers in Howland and Warren both said if they are required to repay the money as is, it could have devastating effects on their budgets. Howland is currently seeking a school levy.

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