Saturday, January 23, 2010

A retired educator's letter to a Sidney State Representative who sponsored a bill (HB 400) to eliminate the state income tax.

From John Curry, January 23, 2010
...of course he (Rep. John Adams) never did tell the good people of Ohio how governmental bodies would make up for the difference. You didn't think he would, did you?
This letter below is written by a Sidney, Ohio retired educator - Douglas Benson, and published in the Jan. 22, 2009 Sidney Daily News. Thank you, Douglas!
P.S. Maybe one of John's buddies in the "other House," the U.S. House of Representatives, could introduce a similar bill to eliminate the federal income tax.....the rednecks would also jump on that bandwagon, wouldn't they? Hey...Jim Jordan might just be the man! How 'bout it, John Adams, care to give Jim a call?
Shifting the tax burden
To the editor:
Rep. Adams must have been thrilled at the Jan. 20 Sidney Daily News headline. What better way to begin one's re-election campaign than to laud his efforts to eliminate Ohio's personal income tax!
Most find the idea of paying fewer taxes appealing. We all must balance our personal budgets by controlling both income and expenses; so do state and local governments and agencies. Mr. Adams makes a very specific proposal on the income side, but he fails to offer specifics on the expense side.
His bill amends Section 5747.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, which specifies that income tax revenue be used for the general revenue fund, the local government fund and the public library fund. The Ohio Legislative Service Commission estimates that in fiscal year 2011, HB 400 would result in a loss of $768 million to the general fund (prisons, education, Medicaid, governmental operations, etc.) $30 million to the local government fund (direct assistance to the cities, counties, townships) and $16 million to public libraries. These reductions would increase each year until FY 2020, when the total loss of revenue is estimated at more than $12 billion dollars per year.
Mr. Adams contends that eliminating the income tax will lure business and industry to Ohio, and it will keep Ohioans from leaving the state. What business wants to move to a community that has limited police and fire protection, underfunded and overcrowded schools, a barely serviceable water and sanitation system, no public library? What community is going to let those services decline? Not many; but how will they maintain a decent level of service? Easy! They will have to raise the money locally through higher local income taxes, higher sales taxes, higher real estate taxes and increased service fees. Is there waste? Can spending be reduced? Certainly! But to the extent of $800 million next year and $12 billion in 10 years? I think not!
Mr. Adams owes us a specific explanation of how the expense side of our state and local budgets will be adjusted to compensate for the loss of revenue the state personal income tax provides. We all know that in the end, the real source of funds to maintain public services is us, the taxpayers. Mr. Adams is all too willing to take the credit for cutting taxes collected at the state level. Is he equally willing to take the blame for shifting the burden of raising funds to the local level?
Douglas Benson
Sidney, Ohio
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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