This past weekend, both the Toledo Blade and Toledo Free Press addressed the possibility of the vote on the 3/4% income tax being affected by a certain Mayor’s actions which have made national headlines.
From Maggie Thurber’s column in the Free Press:
“Toledoans know that serious cuts would have to be made if the city were to lose that much revenue. The mayor and council are counting on their claims of loss of police and fire to “scare” the people into voting yes.
But Toledoans, already close to rejecting such pleas, may have been pushed over the edge by this latest mayoral fiasco. And without any other readily available means to express their dissatisfaction, they may decide to vote “no” on the .75 percent tax in a couple of weeks.”
The irony of this all is that the Mayor is anything but consistent. His consistency is extremely flawed when defending his decision as Mayor to send the Marines home and his decision to support the 3/4% income tax. In regards to the Marines decison Mayor Finkbeiner told the Blade:
“I did what I did for one reason – I wanted to protect Toledo men, women, and children first and foremost.”
By cutting priority services first such as police and fire in the event the income tax fails at the ballot box, how is the Mayor holding to his word? Consistency will be thrown out the window, and the excuse for sending the Marines away will be exposed as just that – and excuse. If police and fire get cut without the City making any other cuts in lesser-priority areas, the Mayor’s word and apparent duty to keep Toledoans safe will have been a big lie calling for another excuse or person to blame for the Marine issue.
In the midst of the chaos between Mayor Finkbeiner and the Marines that has garnered unwanted and embarrassing attention, a co-worker asked me, “What do you expect? It’s Carty!” He in no way was defending the Mayor’s disgraceful actions and unapologetic stance, but he was simply stating we knew what he was like when we put him in office in 2005, should we expect anything different?
And if we do expect the Mayor to act mayoral and respectful, why? He has done nothing to show he is a “normal” mayor.
This struck me, because this approach can be taken to the 3/4% income tax. Why vote No? Because the Mayor and the City Council have done nothing to prove to us their collective fiscal responsibility. If we just keep giving them the money, they are going to spend. It’s almost like a bad drug habit. All addicts say they need their fixes, but in reality, that is the last thing they really need. The addicts need a wake up call.
Not to compare our elected officials to crack-heads, but they need a wake up call. They will continue to need our tax dollars until somebody says, “WAKE UP!” and get over it. It’s time for government to shrink, and it won’t be easy, but get ready, because Toledo is sick of your lackadaisical attitude towards fiscal responsibility.
Yesterday, Toledo Councilmen Joe McNamara and Frank Szollosi pleaded with Toledoans to not vote against the 3/4% income tax as a vote against the Mayor. The Mayor also plugged voting in favor of the tax in his State of the City address. These men need your money. But in reality, government needs to shrink, mirroring the population.
What these men need is a commitment to fiscal responsibility. When was the last time these men expressed a commitment to spending OUR tax dollars wisely? Have they ever?
Time for Council and the Mayor to start fiscal responsibility rehab.
For the Facebook users out there, come join the Tax Break For Toledo Facebook Group.(click the link)
If you are not a user, registering is free, but this is probably a generational thing.
The complaint from Toledo’s elected officials that will soon become deafening is, “Our City cannot run with a cut of 57 million dollars from the budget.” This is the amount of money that will be cut when Toledoans vote NO in March AND November.
The question to them is, then why not bring us a lower tax? Why not drop the 3/4% to 1/4% or something similar and make cuts accordingly? Do Toledoans DESERVE a tax break? We are hardworking citizens that certainly deserve a tax cut.
Maggie Thurber at Thurber Thoughts has a very relevant post about city spending. Actually, she has many posts regarding spending. Be sure to read this post about OUR limited dollars funding the ever-expanding City government.
In short, why hasn’t the government rescaled the number of employees? The City’s purpose is not to collect tax dollars to provide a massive number of City jobs. How many people need to hold positions in the economic development department? How many assistants does the Mayor REALLY need on the 22nd Floor? Why aren’t our elected officials determining what is a priority such as Police, Fire and Trash Services and scrapping other things that should be funded by the private sector. In ugly and uncertain economic times, why isn’t the City government shrinking? Our paychecks and population is. It is imperative the City follow suit.
There are several reasons why we Toledoans should vote NO on the 3/4% income tax in MArch AND November.
- Because it’s time for politicians to put priorities above pet projects.
How much money should be spent on Southwyck? Should the City spend anything? Why is the City involved with the Erie Street Market? If Police and Fire are really the top priorities of the City, why are the the elected officials warning that these things will be cut? Just possibly, the Mayor and Company are trying to scare us, because they are scared that cuts to their special pet projects will happen if we vote down the income tax.
- Because we deserve a tax break.
With unemployment at 6.9%, jobs are being lost. At least 1,100 jobs were lost in January from the layoffs at Jeep and GM Powertrain. The national economy is in a recession, and homes are being foreclosed on locally and nationally. The last thing we need right now is another tax.
- Because as the 10th fastest shrinking city in the United States, Toledo’s City Budget needs to shrink as well.
Toledo has cracked the Top 10 on the list coming in behind cities like New Orleans and Detroit, numbers 1 and 2. As the City shrinks, so should the City’s spending. As individuals lose jobs and go through hard times, why should the City keep spending OUR money at the same level?
- Because the tax increase will increase the art budget.
According to this article in the Toledo Blade, “On March 4, Toledoans will be asked to renew the 0.75 percent temporary income tax, which, if passed, will increase the budget for public art for the first time in four years.” In dire times, why should we increase any budget? I am married to a painter and I appreciate art, but we are being told Police and Fire will be cut, while the art budget is increased?