Butler County Sales Tax: A small step in the absolutely wrong direction

Butler County Sales Tax: A small step in the absolutely wrong direction

Listening to the arguments for the sales tax from Sheriff Jones, whom I like quite a bit, he did a great video with a group that I worked on with him, and I think he is completely sincere in his endeavors. I completely support his desire to sue the country of Mexico for the impact illegal immigration has had on the State of Ohio. I am willing to help him in any capacity to go after Mexico. That is a fight worth fighting.

But unfortunately, to support a sales tax is not the proper way to go. While it’s true that Butler County has its share of pools and golf courses, as Bill Cunningham professed on his WLW show on November 23rd, 2010. I do agree that the projected 7 million dollar shortfall in 2011 was caused by many years of uncontrolled spending. But to throw $10 million dollars more at the situation is not the embodiment of fiscal responsibility.

The comment of Donald Dixon proclaiming that we need to fix this problem before the state declares a fiscal emergency is eerily similar to Mike Taylor saying the same thing in the Lakota School system. What we have are two separate issues proclaiming similar end results. And what both issues share in common is a perception of what level of service the people of Butler County require and how much are the tax payers of the communities of the county are willing to spend on those services. Because if you look at some of the big budget hitters there is a reason so many employees of the sheriff’s office were at that meeting.

The police and fire departments are in much the same situation as the teachers in our schools. They are well compensated, and as the debate of public versus private sector positions, there is an extreme discrepancy. It brings to question how much we really need to spend for those services.

I can speak for myself; the only time I’d call a police officer would be to take a statement for court. If a villain stops by my place to threaten my family, or my property, I’ll take care of it. When Bill Cunningham suggested that if there was a threat of assailants putting a knife to the resident’s throats and that was the reason we need police coverage that was within 5 minutes from a 911 call, I don’t think that’s a feasible option. It is far more reasonable to rely on the 2nd Amendment to do the job it’s designed to do, and send the officer out to take pictures and testify to the situation in a court of law. Anything otherwise I would say is a convenience that we may not be able to afford. That’s my personal opinion.

I would go so far to say that the function of militias is to not only protect the country from foreign enemies, but domestic ones, and who is to say that such groups couldn’t be organized in each county or township. And the same with volunteer firemen, it has been my understanding that typically a community has such people that step up and fill those rolls, and are on call, and do it for the love of their communities. I am personally the type of person that would go to my neighbor’s house and eliminate a threat if they called me, and I could be there in minutes. Then it becomes an issue of training. Teachers use the same reasoning, yet it is proven that home schooled kids perform better than public educated kids from professional teachers.

Now I may be an extreme example. Many proponents of big government ideas would say that I want to live in the Wild West. I’m a guy that made sure my kids were driven to school by their mother most of their lives so they wouldn’t have to ride the bus. And when the school system imposed things upon my children I didn’t like, namely in sex education, my wife and I took them out for a year and home schooled them. That’s the way I think, so I can only toss the idea out there from my perspective which involves a tremendous amount of self-reliance which to me is the solution to everything. If people did for themselves and helped their immediate neighbor’s, the country would be a much stronger and better place. It’s all this collectivism that causes the trouble with budgets, when people want services that they should do themselves. Of course that costs money.

Some aspects of service are better hired out. With the Sheriff’s department, operating the jail, embarking on drug busts, and heavy duty organized crime are things we certainly need and should staff for those levels. And with Fire departments, there needs to be some professional staff that could train volunteers and provide urgent care.

But it is not acceptable to initiate any kind of tax. We have the taxes we currently do, and I’d argue that those are too high. But deal with budget we currently have. Don’t even consider increasing that budget with a tax increase. If we need to pay off loans, we’ll have to take money that is currently going to other services to pay down those debts. Just like a household that is trying to pay off their credit cards might skip going out to Chili’s for dinner and instead have a hot dog on the grill to save the money to be applied to credit card debt. That is how you deal with our budget deficit and how we make up the 10 million needed, with cutting out the excess. You still eat, but it’s the type of the meal that you deal with. Will it be painful? Yes. But is it more painful to impose a sales tax on a community that is buying products at Walmart, Kroger, every restaurant, Home Depot, and even pizza establishments? Especially when there is a serious risk of inflation devaluing the US dollar dramatically in 2011 and 2012 which will further impact sales in Butler County?

In Forest Park sits the Cincinnati Mills Mall, a beautiful building full of massive potential. And down the road is Tri County Mall. The local economy obviously cannot support two large malls. Tri County did the better job in the 90’s of adjusting to the economic climate. They built a second story and remarketed themselves. And to this day, they basically put Cincinnati Mills out of business.

One of the advantages in Butler County, and the reason the homes are nice, and there are pools in the yards, are because people can live there without the needless taxes. Businesses want to come to Butler County because it is affordable to do business. Even though this sales tax is small, the philosophy is going in the wrong direction. And we should not even consider traveling down that road.

It would be far more profitable to get the money out of Mexico than to take it from the people who come to Butler County to do their business.

And Mr. Jones, I’m serious. Just give me a call when you want to head to the border next so that story can be exposed. I want to see our Sheriff’s department sue the Mexican government for the trouble they’ve brought us through illegal immigration. You could generate a lot more than 10 million dollars for the impact to our community if you did that and Butler County would be much better for it.

Rich Hoffman


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