Update: My comments can be heard on WSPD at:
For Immediate Release:
I believe the Lucas County Children Services levy campaign (Issue 38) is misleading
voters into thinking passage of the levy will not increase their taxes. I took note of the inconsistency of the wording while listening to their radio advertisements. I decided to look further into this and saw the same message on their Web site and even on their promotional signs. Each one of those places proudly advertises the message that it is "not a new tax." While a lawyer could effectively argue that it is not a new tax since they are re-evaluating the old tax at 2008 values, the fact is voters will be paying more-20% more- if it is passed. The Lucas County Children Services could have decided to "renew" the old levy, which would not be a new tax because you would not pay any more than before. But they choose to make the levy a "replacement," which will RAISE your property taxes.
One penny more than what I paid before is a NEW tax, so where is the "not a new tax" they are promising? An organization like Lucas County Children Services should be more responsible when they put together their marketing materials and not mislead voters. This levy WILL raise your taxes if you pass it.
Lucas County Children Services is well know for their, in my opinion, useless television
advertisements telling you, "don't shake your baby." The idiots that shake and abuse their kids are not going to take advice from Dean Sparks or from any other television or radio advertisement the agency runs. Maybe they would not need to ask for more of your money if they were not running these advertisements.
Voters should send the Lucas County Children Services a message "don't shake your voters" because they are going to try to shake us down for more money by making you think you won't be paying any more.
Not every group is doing this. The backers of Issue 39, the Lucas County MRDD levy, are not marketing their replacement as "not a new tax." It is nice to know that some organizations in the county do not want to mislead the voters and decide to follow the responsible route when marketing their levy to voters.
Being responsible creates more trust, even if it is something as small as campaign messages. Trying to trick us on a something small, makes us wonder if tricks are going on in other places, which is why smart groups and organizations stay away from these types of issues.
Want to know what the levies will cost you? Visit the Lucas County ARIES site and search for your own home, click on "Data" then choose the "Levy Estimator" to see for yourself what each levy will cost.
From the Issue 38 FAQ:
Is Issue 38 a new tax?
No. Issue 38 is a replacement levy. It replaces a current levy at the same 1.0 mills that
expires on December 31, 2008.
This is false. Your taxes will go up by about 20% if you vote yes.
What are replacement and renewal taxes?
Replacement levies are tax hikes.
Renewal levies do not increase taxes.
Ohio tax issues are designed to yield the same amount of money each year. Using a complex formula the county auditor adjusts the effective tax rate each year as the value of property increases. If the total value of property - often called the tax duplicate - increases 10 percent in one year, the auditor is required to cut the tax rate by 10 percent.
At the end of 10 years, a 10 mill levy might actually be collected at just a few mills.
A replacement levy restores the tax rate to its original rate - increasing the amount each person pays in taxes .
A renewal levy allows the levy to continue to be collected at the reduced rate.