Tax burden shifts to Ohio homeowners

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In defense of seniors complaining about levies in the Sound Off column, I would like to specifically address school levies. The voters in Streetsboro will once again face school levies this fall, one for 3.5 mills and another for 3.9 mills.

School board president Andrew Lesak said there will be no increase in taxes. However, the way I see it, there will be no decrease, either.

Let me explain something that will shed a different light on the subject that will explain why I am against non-stop levies.

State lawmakers have worked for the past decade to reduce the tax burden on businesses. The commercial activity tax generates significantly less revenue than the levies it replaced. The tangible personal property tax on business inventory has been eliminated, and utilities have gained substantial relief from property taxes.

The consequences of these steps? The property tax burden has shifted dramatically. Ohio homeowners and farmers are paying a much larger share of taxes. Where's the fairness in that?

The state has not increased its funding. Gov. John Kasich and his fellow Republicans in the legislature have squeezed schools' current funding below 2010 levels. He also ended, for future school levies, the practice of the state paying 12.5 percent of the property tax bill, which translates into an even heavier burden on homeowners.

I see things as they are, and I feel homeowners are already paying more than their fair share. I think the schools and homeowners need to put pressure on our legislators. The intention of the Ohio Supreme Court in its DeRolph rulings, starting in 1997, was that the state relied too heavily on local property tax levies to fund public education, leading to inequities and inadequacies among school districts.

Follow the logic of the ruling and the state would increase its share of funding, but it has changed little in the past two decades.

So I will not apologize for voting "No," as the homeowner shouldn't be burdened with paying the larger share.

Mary Alice Trimmer, Streetsboro

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  • I agree with Mary Alice.  The mantra is 'still' the same as it 'ALWAYS' has been.  'PUT A BANDAIDE' on a machette wound.  Yet, everywhere you turn, 'TOP UNIVERSITIES' are offering and 'PROMOTING' on-line learning for folks looking to 'CONTINUED EDUCATION' for their 'MASTER'S DEGREES' and other degrees of learning.

    No one seems to want to do a 'study' as to whether it would be 'COST EFFECTIVE' to put our school systems on this type of teaching and learning.  I have several friends that 'TEACH' on line, and have been doing it for 'SEVERAL' years, and it is quite effective.

    How would this affect the taxpayer and student?

    No more 'SNOW DAYS'.

    No school building maintenance.

    No school bus maintenance.

    Each student would have their own computer.

    Downside:

    Not much that I can think of.

    Jim Lighton - Ravenna Township, Portage County, Ohio

     

  • Tax everyone equally. Could levy a school tax on every man, woman and child in the city.