Why not market the Sandusky-Port Clinton discount?

Tom Jackson
May 8, 2014

A couple of months ago, I bought a fluorescent light bulb at a big box home improvement store in North Olmsted, in Cuyahoga County. When the bulb didn't work, I had to exchange it. It was more convenient to exchange it at the chain's store on U.S. 250 in Erie County, so I did.

I made a straight exchange for an identical replacement bulb (the Sandusky one worked) but the store clerk also handed me some change. I couldn't figure it out until I remembered that there's a difference in sales taxes.

As you can see for yourself, Cuyahoga County residents enjoy the highest sales tax rate in Ohio, 8 percent. The rate in Erie County is 7.25 percent. In Ottawa County, it's 7 percent.

The elected county executive in Cuyahoga County is Ed FitzGerald, who has earned a reputation for being honest and for avoiding government waste. He apparently likes having the highest sales tax in Ohio, however, because he hasn't tried to change it. Mr. FitzGerald is the Democratic nominee for governor.

There are probably quite a few residents of Cuyahoga County who come here often during the summer, perhaps because they have a season pass for Cedar Point or because they keep a boat at an Ottawa County marina. Why not point out to them that they should buy their bottled water, soda pop etc. while they are visiting us here? Because if they bought it back in Cleveland, they paid too much. 

 

Comments

Licorice Schtick

Interesting question. Jackson's one of my favorite columnists, and not just locally. He always brings original, intelligent ideas and unique perspectives.

Most vacationers, one might surmise, don't want to worry about 1% of their purchases.

It would be better if there were no sales tax at all. It's anti-progressive, unfairly burdening the lowest-income consumers. Sales tax on used cars and other used goods is particularly outrageous, uniquely scraping value off the same product repeatedly.

Babo

Adding to the unfairness of sales tax is the exemptions on services that the affluent use that the poor typically cannot afford such as legal services, admissions to entertainment events etc.

Licorice Schtick

True. And since we're there, what about the cost of collecting the tax? It's huge, for both the states and the sellers, and now even more horribly complicated by internet sales. And the nuisance is a significant barrier to launching small businesses. And corrupt special interest rules add complication; you pay the rate where the sale is made, right? Wrong, if it's a car.

Licorice Schtick

And why is "conservative" Kasich getting a pass for increasing the sales tax???

Babo

I thought Kasich was proposing to lower the state portion of the sales tax percentage by extending the tax to some presently exempt services such as legal services and admissions? In other words the rate would be lower but revenues would increase due to taxes on services such as legal fees.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

How do you figure the "burden" you speak about, as well, why must a tax be "progressive"? Simply exploring your thoughts so don't take it as a thrown-down gauntlet.

google me

Probably not the thing you want to market if consumers knew they would stop in Lorain Co. as they are passing through and take advantage of only 6.5% sales tax, potentially driving more business from Erie and Ottawa.

Finn Finn

It bears mentioning however that gasoline prices in Ottawa County are at least .10 higher than those in Toledo, Cleveland, etc. Can't figure out how they get away with that, but every gas station in P.C. and Marblehead is the same. GOUGE!

puddin95

How is Salazar working out for you? Go Tigers.