Sunday, May 21, 2006

Re: Local TEL and Spending Control

The politicians who we have been stuck with for the last 100 years or so will never be confused with the founding fathers, but TEL was no more flawed than the school choice law, Taft's tax increases or the immigration bill that is currently slithering its way through congress. We will be stuck with them, yet the protection most needed for the citizens of Ohio now faces legislative oblivion.

Liberals lied about the protection of marriage amendment -- it passed.

Liberals lied about past initiatives in California to limit property taxes as well as eliminating race preferences in schools -- they passed.

Liberalism is a lie. How could the arguments that they made been anything but? TEL was not given that chance and it should have.

I do not fear debate and Blackwell's retreat from fiscal responsibility stopped at least two important debates that we should have had.

One is on the need for local politicians to take account the voters in the decisions that they make. Currently, local politicians are free to tax people who do not even live in their communities. "Vote the bums out" is not enough -- not even close. The idea of constitutional limited government does not scare me; I relish it. No longer shall politicians view citizens are their own personal ATM's.

The second debate revolves around corporations. Who is to say that it is the government's responsibility to remake localities for corporations? Maybe it is fine that upgrades at taxpayers expense occur; I believe that I could be persuaded. I vote for increases of funding for the library all of the time. I voted to give Columbus' COSI tax revenue.

The voter must be given control; politicians can no longer be trusted alone as the stewards of the till. Any idea of "throwing the bums out" as a reasonable solution should be forever eliminated as a solution as my next post should forever prove.

Then again, I suppose that this debate is all academic now -- TEL will probably be removed from the ballot and within a few years -- just a distant memory. I'll ponder the possibility for an instant as I'm sunning myself on some sandy beach around the corner from my house in Florida.


BizzyBlog said...

The corporations and company location debate is an important one. Unfortunately, it's a 50-state debate. If OH decides not to be in the tax abatement/location underwriting business, there are 49 other states who will gladly jump in.

The Supreme Court recently had the chance to deal with this and copped out. Some Toledo-area taxpayers sued to stop the Jeep tax abatement deal, but the Supremes said they didn't have "standing" -- If they don't who does?

The only consolation is that they didn't rule on the constitutionality of tax abatements, so if someone with "standing" (maybe a competitor) could figure out a way to bring a suit to the Supremes, we might find out that abatements are unconstitutional. I think it's pretty obvious that they should be, as taxpayers are treated inequitably.

Until that happens, the states that don't do deals will lose out to the states who will, but the remaining taxpayers in the states that do the deals end up carrying more of the load than they equitably should. So everyone is forced to play the game, and you can only hope that your politicians don't give away the store. It bites.

Steven J. Kelso Sr. said...

Ohio has one of the worst tax situations in America -- something TEL would have fixed.

As much as I do not like tax abatements, lower corporate taxes equal higher wages and lower prices. As long as government spends the way that it does, I suppose that we can look for such screwy things.

If SCOTUS overruled tax abatements, I do not believe that would lead to a more rational tax policy -- things would probably wind up even worse for the citizens of Ohio.

Bites indeed; why don't you go and fix things -- you'd get my vote! :)

BizzyBlog said...

If tax abatements were illegal, at least in theory states would have to compete on their overall tax policy.

There would probably be loopholes, like playing around with property appraisals.

If you're saying that our current bunch is less-than-capable of playing on a level playing field against other states. I'd have to agree.

If you've got a spare couple hundred grand and a special cleaner that removes skeletons from closets, I might consider running for something. :-->

The Pullins Report said...

We could eliminate tax abatements in one swoop and pass overall tax reform. How about eliminating the income tax, that's another fight Ken B. shouldn't give up.

Steven J. Kelso Sr. said...

Scott: Sounds fine with me, but Ken has already ruled eliminating the Income Tax -- we're stuck! :(

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Didn't we just do "tax reform" last year? Why didn't that solve the problems? I know many companies and associations supported it. Don't we think we can give it at least one full year to work itself out?