Looters of Cincinnati: The end of the line is here

As many said during 2011–without Issue 2–which was repealed by the public unions in Ohio, Cincinnati was in deep trouble. Now in the summer of 2012, Cincinnati is facing a $34 million dollar deficit as the progressive Mayor Mallory pushes for higher taxes to pay for the enormous amounts of money that his street car project is going to take from the Cincinnati budget.

Kathy Harrell Fraternal Order of Police President also is pushing for higher taxes to pay for the high salaries of her members as she extrapolates public safety over the luxury of a street car, because the police and Mayor Mallory are after the same money provided by the tax payers, and they both expect to get it from the property owners in Cincinnati who are being pushed to fund all these projects with their tax dollars.

Issue 2 would have allowed management of the salary structure of the police officers of Cincinnati without drastically decreasing their numbers. To get an idea of what many of these police officers make, CLICK HERE to see what they make just to the north in West Chester Twp. Many police officers make close to six figure salaries by the time all their benefits and overtime are added up. 1000 employees who cost the tax payers $100,000 each per year cost the city $100 million dollars—just to put it in perspective. The actual cost is much higher since many city employees make a lot more than $100K per year. The way to manage those costs is to drive down the wage amounts so that they fit within the current budget. It’s essentially the same problem that tax payers are having with public school teachers. Teachers in government schools expect too much pay. But Kathy will not even consider such an option as asking her members to take a pay cut. Listen to her two years ago the last time City Council tried to balance their budget. You can hear the audio from Darryl Parks show on 700 WLW.

The proposed new tax is $6 per $100,000 of property value which doesn’t sound like much until one considers the impact on businesses with values of $1 million or more. For them, the tax increase is quite steep. For a business, $1 million dollars of value is very much the norm. The average Wendy’s restaurant is valued between $1 million and $1.5 million, so every place of business in the city of Cincinnati is at risk of seeing significant property tax increases since their businesses are all valued close to those numbers. Political looters like Roxanne Qualls reminded city council that if taxes do not increase, then they had better be ready to make serious cuts to programs, which she knows nobody has the political will to do. The prospect of city council members taking a stand against tax increases has led to the rumblings of law suits against those who resist the tax push. She was quick to point out that only 14 percent of a property owner’s tax bill goes to the city. Most of the money goes to the Cincinnati Public Schools and Hamilton County levies, which of course ties in to the stadium debacle for the Reds and Bengals sports franchises.

To make matters even worse, the Cincinnati Public Schools just announced that they are seeking a $51.5 million emergency operating levy—most of which goes directly to the wages of government workers. CPS has cut 200 jobs and finally placed their employees on a base salary increase freeze, yet they still need money to cover their $467.5 million dollar budget. And in just three years in 2015 CPS intends to seek another $65.2 million dollar levy renewal, so the increases against property owners will continue into the next decade easily.

If I were a business owner looking for a reason to locate my business in downtown Cincinnati, to lease a space in Carew Tower or some other downtown location, why would I when I could place my business in West Chester, Mason, or Northern Kentucky with a lot less tax burden? The answer is I wouldn’t. I will put my business where there are the most people with the most money, and the taxes are lowest. And downtown Cincinnati isn’t it. There is too much public housing that creates home owners who do not have a personal investment in the property, so property values will continue to spiral downward because investors would be out of their minds to invest in a community that will only be trashed within 10 years. The high taxes currently have pushed out many good jobs from the downtown area and into the suburbs and the general irresponsibility of the city funds have driven completely out-of-town the type of property investment that helps curtail crime, which creates the need for too many police officers to keep the peace.

One of the reasons Kathy Harrell cited as a risk to the layoff of police officers in order to pay for the street car is that if the number of employees drops below 700 officers, then the city will lose federal funding—which means that the police department already is receiving tax payer dollars from the federal government and they have that money spent. So laying off too many police officers will take away federal dollars that will force yet another tax increase on property when that money goes away. This is not only stupid from a financial standpoint, but makes the 10th Amendment of our Bill of Rights completely negligible, since every school and public employment entity has their hand out to Uncle Sam. It makes the state a servant to the federal government so when politicians in Washington decide they wish to enforce the NDAA Act for instance, our local police that we work so hard to pay for with six figure salaries become military troops who report directly to the federal government to enforce martial law—and that is a serious problem. It allows Constitution burning politicians like Obama to build his own army at the expense of local tax payers under the disguise of safety, which makes self-government much more difficult when a dictator attempts to climb into power.

Mayor Mallory who is a very progressive mayor directly connected to the Obama administration seems to have the same economic ignorance as his friend. Mallory as a mayor of a small city in the Midwest spent a lot of time during his first two years in office visiting communist China so he could take pointers from the mother country of his political ideology. It is from his Chinese friends that he learned that he needed to build a streetcar, and that the ballot language needed to be confusing to get it passed by an already apathetic community plagued with debt.

The sum of the problem is that a vast majority of all the government employees involved at every level of the city government from the schools to city council have tried to solve problems by stealing from one place to satisfy the needs elsewhere. And since the entire system is made up of looters—people who seek to take from others to fill the needs of themselves—they have taken away so much from the tax payers that there isn’t anything left to take.

The responsible thing to do for residents of Cincinnati would be to vote at the ballot box and if that doesn’t work then to vote with their feet. It is interesting that the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors lobbied against the property tax increase from city council because they will be forced to vote in favor of the CPS tax, since realtors use good schools as a way to sell homes and in people’s minds, passed levies equal good schools which to a realtor equals sales of homes. Tax payers in Cincinnati are much less likely to pass the CPS levy if city council forces a $6 tax hike per $100K home. In Cincinnati there is no end in sight for tax increases because the looters of Cincinnati have spent too much, and made taxes so high that new investment is staying out of the city. And for the same reason that residents do not want to move into high crime neighborhoods to avoid being robbed, investment dollars avoid communities with high taxes, because the politicians are no different from the kind of looter who would rob a person at gun point. Threats of lawsuits, threats of declining police presence violating public safety, threats of a declining community of tax payers who do not approve tax increases are still coercion made under inflicted duress—not under the logic of clear conscious—which is how Cincinnati ended up in the situation that it’s in. The problems were caused by the Looters of Cincinnati and nobody else. These politicians were warned, and Issue 2 was created by forward-looking legislators to attempt to curtail the impact of these upcoming times, but nobody listened and now there is hell to pay. The good of Cincinnati will now make plans to leave leaving only the ugly to reside within the city limits with the rest of the looters. And years from now when archeologists wonder why the city of Cincinnati fell into drastic decline it will not be because it lacked highway access, or a wonderful airport—it will be because taxes were simply too high and that destroyed everything that was good about the city and turned it into just another ghostlike victim of the present economy that is indiscriminate in it’s destruction of anything but the most efficient leaving only the Looters of Cincinnati to feed off each other once everything productive had been consumed.


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Rich Hoffman