CITY TAX SHOULD BE PROGRESSIVE BUT IT ISN'T

Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 01/05/2010 - 17:06.

Mayor Frank Jackson’s inaugural talk was uninspiring, tedious and lacking the very essence of what it said it was about – the future.

Jackson offered Clevelanders nothing.

 

We face consistent population loss and job market breakdown. The city’s outlook is dismal. Cleveland has fewer people though more poor people as a percentage of the shrinking population.

 

This is the situation for most Ohio cities.

 

But you don’t see the political leaders of the major cities getting together to find solutions. They should be a powerful political coalition.

However, they seem to be each drowning in a downward spiral.

 

They all need money to operate.

 

One solution to the problem of revenue is very, very simple.

 

Get it from those who have it instead of from those who don’t.

 

What a novel idea.

 

Jackson’s fee tax on garbage is an example of uninspired thinking. Same as his traffic lights as revenue raisers.

 

But those “solutions” are easier than a real answer.

 

How can cities raise more money? They have to get the Ohio legislators to pass authorization that allows the cities to tax on a progressive basis.

 

What a novel idea.

 

We cannot keep going to those who have less and least for more revenue. That has been the process with sales taxes and sin taxes, garbage and other fees, and traffic tickets.

 

What the cities need is a progressive payroll tax, not the income tax that now exists where everyone pays the same rate. For wealth people a 2 or 3 percent payroll tax isn’t a burden. For a family on a limited income, it is a burden. It’s a hardship.

 

Where is the politician who will sell this state-wide, among cities and their political leaders?

 

Why should LeBron James - just the use the name everyone knows – pay a 2 percent city income tax and Joe or Jane Jones, making minimum wage, also pay a 2 percent tax. On the first penny they make, too.

 

LeBron likely has more income that doesn’t pay the payroll tax than Joe or Jane Jones makes in 10 years. Is that fair? Is that wise?

 

Why shouldn’t people earning big bucks pay a higher than 2 percent tax? Why should someone making minimum wage even pay a payroll tax?

 

I know how much it hurts. I paid city income taxes when I made so little that I paid no federal income tax. So have many, many others.

 

When are urban centers going to take care of their people? When are their people going to demand it?

 

When are police, fire and other public employees – enduring layoffs, low pay and no raises – going to demand that those with high incomes pay a fair share? Why are they willing to give away money that should go to their families to the families of the richest among us?

 

The lack of concern by these public employees amazes me. Don’t they realize that tens and hundreds of millions of dollars are being given away to businesses whose owners are wealthy but pay city taxes at the same rate they do?

 

Here are the top ten cities in Ohio. I ask why aren’t the people and their representatives demanding fair taxation legislation that would relieve the financial crisis all these cities face:

 

Columbus    754,885

Cleveland    433,748

Cincinnati    333,336

Toledo         293,201

Akron           207,510

Dayton         154,200

Canton         78,362

Parma           77,947

Youngstown 72,925

Lorain            70,239

 

Don’t wait for the Plain Dealer to lead this fight. Their top people benefit richly from things as they are. This is the kind of corruption Terry Egger and Susan Goldberg don’t – won’t – see.

 

This isn’t a reform they would favor.




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At the very least I would

At the very least I would like to see a ban of sales tax for people that purchase at thrift stores.  I am not sure how I feel about a progressive city tax though..I don't know enough about it.  Would it cause all the 'wealthier' residents to move out of the area and leave more of the 'poorer' residents behind?  That would be a bad thing.  I am not against the traffic tickets though, I think people need to follow the rules of the road, especially in residential areas.  I am opposed to corporate welfare...they don't need it.  And I would like to see more money put into maintaining affordable housing so people don't have to go broke to have shelter.  And I favor food stamps and other food distribution programs to keep people from going hungry.  Police and Fire are absolute necessities and laying them off is just irreponsible especially since there has been an increase in crime and fires in the city.  I agree that Mayor Jackson has his priorities backwards...he favors business, probably thinking it will trickle down to the people, but that is not happening.  It goes in their pockets and they usually take it out of Cleveland to spend.  This is how I see it.

people with more money should be taxed more

Even billionaire Warren Buffet thinks so.

NEW YORK, June 26, 2007 -- Warren E. Buffett was his usual folksy self Tuesday night at a fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as he slammed a system that allows the very rich to pay taxes at a lower rate than the middle class.

Buffett cited himself, the third-richest person in the world, as an example. Last year, Buffett said, he was taxed at 17.7 percent on his taxable income of more than $46 million. His receptionist was taxed at about 30 percent.

Buffett said that was despite the fact that he was not trying to avoid paying higher taxes. "I don't have a tax shelter," he said. And he challenged Congress and his audience to see what the people who "clean our offices" are taxed, to loud applause.

So, yes Cuyahoga County's wealthier should help those with fewer dollars to make the city a liveable place, safe and secure with education for its children. They could continue to sit back and grouse about the poverty or they could just shut up and pony up. But no one will give unless you ask. So what politician will ask?

Thank you ,,,,,,

for mentioning that the majority of city/county workers have to work for low pay, threats of layoffs, and no raises.  Seldom even a decent cost of living increase for me in almost 20 years, and very few raises.

We public servants were recently bashed by the PD on how good we have it with pensions.  Which is true and greatly appreciated.  However, we seldom receive raises or cost of living increases and now threatened layoffs.  These conditions affect our pensions since they are averaged out by 3 or 5 of our highest paying years.  Well, we do not have the opportunity to get higher raises to make for the highest paying years to make for a decent pension.

The public workers that are risking their lives daily, police/fire, should never be threatened with layoffs with rampant violent crimes happening daily in Cleveland.  Necessary layoffs/cutbacks elsewhere, but definetly not with police/fire.

I don't think that many city/county employees lack concern.  I think we are lacking in knowledge.

Very interesting blog.   thank you again

So, Roldo, Eugene Sanders

The new plan for the school system announced today, do you thing that you might find time to do a write up on that?

Sorry

Sorry  but I'm not close enough to the issues to give any meaningful insight.

drat, Roldo

I am sorry too. This means that I have to do it myself! So much research for a small piece! Cleveland has not had a good superintendent since Tutela was acting superintendent (he sold out to Forbes when he became the real thing).