Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pickerington and Westerville asking for income-tax increases

Story in the Columbus Dispatch this morning. Pickerington is at 1%, going to 2%; Westerville is at 1.25%, also going to 2%. Here's the part I just love:

In both cities, officials plan to sell the tax as an increase that a majority of residents would not pay.

Pickerington estimates that 87 percent of its residents work outside the city, while 67 percent of Westerville's workers earn wages outside the suburb. Both cities give partial credit for taxes paid elsewhere.

So, in other words, the tax burden will fall hardest on small-business owners within Westerville and Pickerington, who have no credits to other cities; or on the workers within those two towns, some of whom won't even get to vote on this or benefit from the tax revenue to any significant degree. Yet these same towns have economic-development initiatives to encourage businesses to relocate or expand in their cities, bringing jobs with them -- as long as they pay up.

If you're wondering why I'm not crazy about allowing Pataskala to join the city income-tax cattle drive, maybe the examples of Pickerington and Westerville wil prove instructive.

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