Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:28 AM | Contributed by Mike Gallagher
Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to cut the state’s overall sales-tax rate while also putting the lower 5 percent sales tax on a long list of new items that include circuses, arcade games and carnival rides.
Read more from The Akron Beacon Journal.
A whopping 5% for local/state roads, infrastructure, police, fire, courts, parks, etc. is too much? Just where do you expect funding for these services to come from? Heck, I pay 5% for a retirement plan I'll probably never get to use, at least the services provided through taxes give me something of value.
If a school district is hurting for cash, it's because they failed to anticipate something, whether it be community growth/shrinkage, a change in property values, outdated buildings, etc. It's their job to anticipate and prepare for these things. If they don't like it, then they're welcome to either get out or find a new model (like the Ohio Supreme Court demanded they do over a decade ago.)
Washington makes it work, so ask them, and the happy residents not paying local or state income tax.
So school boards and superintendents should have anticipated there would be a housing market crash with scores of vacant houses and a deep recession with lingering unemployment issues and all of the local tax collection issues that creates? And they should have anticipated that in large part because of all of that, residents would vote down tax increases not so much because they do not support the school board or superintendent but because they simply do not have the cash (with one or more in the household without a job, reduced hours or pay/benefits, increased costs for much of what they buy, etc.)? What exactly should they have done even if they had anticipated all of that? Many districts had reserve funds but at this point, those have been pretty much drawn down for many districts.
And the Ohio Supreme Court charged the Ohio Legislature with finding a new way to fund schools. Not school boards and superintendents who must work within the system state law provides (which at this point is major funding through local levies).
And none of that is to say that there are not a lot of issues with many school boards and superintendents. Just that the idea of terminating school board members and superintendents because a levy fails or because they were unable to anticipate any adverse circumstances (or even garden variety cost increases) which would require additional levies doesn't make much sense.
According to this article, Ohio's state and local tax burden was 9.7% for 2010 (which put Ohio at 20th highest tax burden). US average was 9.9%. Washington was 9.3% (ranking 28th).
As someone who earns an income, not paying income tax is very attractive. But someone's paying for this stuff. The Tax Foundation has a good overview of how states without personal income tax generate revenue.
Washington had a ballot initiative, in 2010, I believe, regarding the establishment of a state income tax while reducing other taxes. It failed, but it shows that it's far from a settled issue.Last edited by Gemini, Friday, February 22, 2013 10:49 AM
Yes, they wanted to do an income tax on high earners, and Bill Gates' dad was actually pitching for it. It was weird. There are a whole lot of people in the Puget Sound area doing over $250k a year, and nobody wanted it. For a left-leaning state, the voice was very right. At the end of the day, the state has had to learn to live within its means, and honestly it does an OK job at it.
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