Monday, November 10, 2008

Income Tax VII - The Aftermath

Couple of articles poking at the corpse of the Pataskala income tax.

This article, in the Newark Advocate, confirms what I believe -- the supporters of the income tax include retirees, because each of the seven failed proposals would have levied the income tax only on earned income, not on retirement income. (I guess you stop using civic services in Pataskala when you retire.)

Rolling back the snark a little bit on that last sentence, I'm not totally unsympathetic to retirees -- they're likely living in homes that are paid off, so there's no monthly mortgage payment any more. Thus, the property taxes come straight out of the retirees' cash flow. However, on my house, only 11.95% of the property tax goes to the city (vice 13.37% to fire, and 59.14% to school). Even if you zero out the Pataskala share of the property tax, you'd still be left with 88% of your total tax bill.

Also, since "fairness" always comes up when taxes are discussed, do retirees use more, less, or the same amount of the services and infrastructure provided by the city of Pataskala? If the answer is either the same, or more, then it is patently unfair that their income should not also be taxed.

I didn't know that Pataskala is one of only two cities in Ohio that doesn't levy an income tax -- I'm actually kind of happy about that. (Do I hear a theme for the Pataskala Convention and Visitors Bureau?)

And this article, by Lori Wince (never will get tired of that name ...) surfaces the idea that Pataskalians (Pataskaloids?) don't trust their government. Ya think? They've run the same issue at us seven times, and been rebuffed each time. Each time this issue comes up on the ballot, the mayor and council members come around to tell us why we need this tax, why we're going down the drain if it doesn't pass, etc., etc..

But -- I never hear from them before the income tax proposal goes on the ballot. I never see them barnstorming the subdivisions, in a donated RV, to ask what the citizens' priorities are. I never get to vote on a full and irrevocable repudiation of the Pataskala property tax (a necessary precondition to an income tax to me). I just hear what I'm going to lose if I don't vote the right way.

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