November 16, 2012
The Courier Editorial Board has already addressed the long list of failures of the Mayor and Findlay City Council in their effort to make permanent the increase in the city income tax. But the Courier did not mention the Mayor Mihalik’s biggest failure, the campaign pledge during her race for Mayor that the City of Findlay did not need to make the temporary ¼% income tax increase permanent.
The Courier was dead wrong when they wrote “Most people will accept her about-face”. The Courier can apologize all they want for the Mayor’s flawed judgment. Politicians need to be held accountable for the promises they make in “the heat of a campaign”. It seems clear that Mayor Mihalik’s campaign pledge casted a long shadow over the effort to pass the income tax renewal. The Mayor’s campaign pledge set up unrealistic expectations in the minds of her voters, it diminished her credibility once she did her homework and faced the reality of Findlay’s fiscal problems.
Mayor Mihalik was the only candidate for mayor to promise not to seek a renewal of the income tax. All of the other candidates looked at the same facts and came to this same conclusion; the tax increase was necessary, not an easy thing to say for anyone running for office. Was the Mayor’s campaign position based purely on ideology, was it her ego that drove her to believe she could simply outsmart the problem or was she simply unable or unwilling to back off a campaign pledge that give her an advantage in her run for the mayor’s office?
Whatever the reason, Mayor Mihalik’s failed judgment has done real damage to the City of Findlay. So now Mayor Mihalik needs to put forward a plan to fix it. Time for Lydia to lead!
See Findlay Courier Editorial “Defeated” here: http://www.thecourier.com/opinion/editoral/2012/Nov/08/ar_ed_110812.asp?d=110812,2012,Nov,08&c=e_0
See Findlay Courier Editorial “About Face” here: http://www.thecourier.com/opinion/editoral/2012/Jul/05/ar_ed_070512.asp?d=070512,2012,Jul,05&c=e_0
November 8, 2012
The Editorial Broad of the Findlay Courier got it one hundred percent right. Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik’s campaign for the city income tax was a disaster.
Read the editorial here: www.thecourier.com/opinion/editoral/2012/Nov/08/ar_ed_110812.asp?d=110812,2012,Nov,08&c=e_0
September 7, 2012
What Every City Councilperson (and everyone else) should know about the City Income Tax.
A few weeks ago Charles W. Weasel, a local Attorney, wrote a letter to Findlay City Council suggesting a fix to the City of Findlay’s budget crisis. A crisis largely caused by the decrease in State funding. His idea; change state law to permit the city income tax to include taxing interest and dividend income as well as wages. As Mr. Weasel wrote “Currently only the “working man” pays the Findlay City Income Tax. Wealthy retirees and “Trust Fund Babies” are given a free ride at the expense of the wage earner.”
Of all the inequities built into the city income tax (look for future posts on the other inequities) the fact that wages are almost exclusively taxed, while interest, dividend and capital gains income are not, seems blatantly unfair. A very wealthy person whose income comes solely from inherited investments could live their whole life in Findlay and never pay a dime in city income tax. Findlay City Councilperson Anne Spence was so impressed with the idea that she promised to pass it on to Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite-R and Ohio State Rep. Robert Sprague-R, quoting chapter and verse of the Ohio Revised Code Section that would require changes to accommodate adjusting the City Income Tax.
Of course this proposed change to state law is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN and Miss Spence should probably know that. There are two reasons that the GOP controlled Ohio State government is never going to allow cities to tax investment income. The first reason is a matter of mechanics. Collecting and administering a flat income tax on wages is relatively easy. Adding investment income to the mix would require every city to set up its own version of the IRS.
But, Mr. Weasel stumbled on the real reason why Gov. Kasich, Senator Hite and Rep Sprague are playing this taxation shell game in the first place. Mr. Weasel and Miss Spence, the reason your city income tax is going up is because the city income tax does not tax investment income. The GOP plan from the beginning is to shift the totality of municipalities and state taxes from investment income, (the rich) to wages (Ohio’s working families). On top of that, they are cutting progressive taxes like the estate tax and the state income tax only to force increases in city taxes that are a flat rate tax. So, the lowest paid worker pays the same rate as the best paid wage earner in the city.
If Miss Spence was paying attention to her Republican playbook she would know that cutting taxes on the wealthy and their investment income, not raising their taxes, is fundamental to the GOP’s game plan.