The City’s tax increase is a difficult sell

Hollie Newton
Mar 18, 2014
If a tax increase should go through, just how much money would trickle down to the real needs of our community after allocating funding for the City Hall move and fulfilling downtown’s wish list? 
 
The town hall meetings turned out the same hand full of citizens that usually attend meetings to talk about various issues rather than attracting a new crowd of people. The city feels it needs to attract a different captive audience such as the parents of school students. Ganging up on the school parents with a possible school levy and a city tax increase campaign is a double whammy. 
 
I was pleased to hear that the town hall meetings were going to start up again, but the meetings turned out to be a campaign for a tax increase and nothing like the regular coffee meeting conversations that would usually take place. Will the town hall meetings be dropped after the tax campaign is finished and the commissioners will no longer need our attention? 
 
Citizens think that the city should get specific about where the money should be spent in order for the citizens to pass the tax, but will we be able trust the city to follow through with its promises? The city manager did a survey two years ago to see if the citizens would be receptive to supporting a taxing initiative to provide adequate police/fire services with 80% of the people stating that they would not support such an initiative. Most of the time, designated funding doesn’t work because all of the funds are going to one problem area rather then distribute the funds to all areas that need funding.
 
The admissions tax was hardly ever mentioned during the tax increase presentation. Two commissioners cannot talk about the subject due to a conflict of interest, so it will be difficult to get the issue on the table. The admissions tax is long overdue, but how does the city approach the subject when Cedar Point presented a $50,000 check to the police department for remodeling its department?
 
The city has asked the newspaper to help convince the taxpayers about the need for a tax increase. As I recall, the city and some of the community members set out on a campaign to get people to pull their subscriptions, forego placing ads in the paper, and just plain bad mouthed an award winning newspaper for being negative and stating the truth about what was happening at City Hall. After humiliating and discrediting the reporter, the city would like to become best buddies with the newspaper, because it needs to recruit all the marketing and public relations it can possibly muster during the troubled financial times everyone is experiencing.

Comments

Bogtrotter

Thank you Sharon.

Yes, an admissions tax increase is long overdue.

DGMutley

Thank you Sharon!

http://www.conwaygreene.com/Sand...
Above is the link to CHAPTER 195 Admissions Tax. (195.01 - 195.99) Which describes Ord. 05-114. Passed 7-11-05.

The ordinance simply needs to be updated with the new percentage and circulated with the following petition to get it on the ballot.

REFERENDUM PETITION
(Municipality or Home Rule Township)

Revised Code 504.14, 731.29-.41, 3501.38, 3503.06

NOTE: Prior to circulation of a referendum petition, a certified copy of the ordinance sought to be referred must be filed with the City Auditor, Village Clerk or Township Fiscal Officer (home rule township). This petition must be signed by ten percent of the number of electors in the city, village township who voted for governor at the preceding gubernatorial election and must be filed with the City Auditor, Village Clerk or Township Fiscal Officer within 30 days after the ordinance or other measure was filed with the mayor of a city, was passed by the council of a village or was passed by the trustees of the township.

https://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/...

Above link is the pdf of a petition form.

DEATHnTAXES

Agreed. The Town Hall Meetings were advertised as 'come on down and tell us what you think--give us ideas'. Ended up being an advertised scare tactics for a tax increase while in the same breath selling the idea of selling City Hall. We've been there done that several times in history.

The photos of City Hall Murray showed are housekeeping issues with equipment and odds and ends thrown into an unused hallway.

Ralph J.

Where can I find the city's income from all sources? I tried the city's web site and focused on the financial department but could not find any useful information. My question is how much in dollars does Sandusky get from the city income tax, property tax, admissions tax, building permits and all other sources including grants for income? Where can I find this information online for all to see?

Ralph J.

Thank you DGMutley, your help is much appreciated.

donutshopguy

Has anyone noticed the only major construction taking place in the area is for different levels of government. New Social Security building. New Border Patrol building. Various schools around the area. And the city wants a new city hall building.

What do those building have in common? They are financed through your tax dollars. It's too easy to spend some one else's money.

The Bizness

What about the new Speedway going in? The private demo of the crayon factory? The various new restaurants/bars opened up? New Hoty strip mall buildings? New hotel down by Milan?

SamAdams

NO NEW TAX INCREASES! Not income taxes, not property taxes. Many of us are tapped out, and it's especially galling that at least some members of the Commission refuse to consider the obvious. Yes, I'm talking about an admissions tax increase. Right now, we're so far below the averages on admissions tax that it's bordering on the irresponsible on the part of City leaders. I admit I'm not surprised by that fact, but I do remain SERIOUSLY unhappy with the Commission at this point.

Town Hall Meetings. Bah! They were propaganda presentations, and it looks like most residents recognize them for what they were. Good. It's time to pay attention to the RESIDENTS for once, Commissioners! You know, the ones you're supposed to represent? To care about? For whom you're supposed make life in the City better? Instead, you're not listening and, as a result, you're not only not HELPING, but you're threatening still more harm. Nice.

Bogtrotter

Sharon,

We're hoping to hold a meeting regarding the admissions tax on April 5, at 11 am, at Mr. Smith's. I hope you will attend.

DGMutley

This is a good column this week! The next to the last paragraph is especially enlightening.

Curious about the HOLLIE NEWTON byline. I noticed it on one other column.

kimi43464's picture
kimi43464

I don't live in Sandusky anymore, but if I did I would certainly feel better about this if the money they already had were being managed properly. From the Nuesse fiasco, to the botched Chief search, to the illustrious Nichole Are, Sandusky really needs to get its act together!