Thursday, September 4, 2008

Arts Crowd Brings In Reinforcements for Tax Fight

COAST has been carefully covering the attempts by big-taxers to bring more government funding to the "arts" in Cincinnati and Hamilton County, read here, here and here. Now comes news that the Fine Arts Fund has hired a Washington lobbyist as its new Vice President of the Arts and Culture Partnership.

This City Beat interview highlights the responsibilities of Margy Waller in this new role, and it betrays, or at least hints at, the FAF's plans for pumping more tax monies for the "Arts."

City Beat confronts Waller with the COAST allegation that "Arts" advocates are angling for new tax. Waller refuses to answer the question directly, simply saying:
"The goal is to have a conversation that's not an argument but in fact resonates so much more than the anti-tax talk that this COAST stuff (Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes) becomes irrelevant. If the question is "Do you want another tax?" people will always say "No." That's not how you want to have that conversation. It's all about what kind of community we want to live in and how we want our children to grow up."
Waller concludes that her goal is:
"Ultimately what we want is so much public demand that there's no question that these things get funded. And the way to create that sense of public will and public demand is to have a conversation that resonates with enough people that the public demand is there. In the end the bottom line is having that kind of public will that creates the political space for the decision-makers to provide resources and develop policy that's supportive of arts and culture as a critical part of a sustainable and viable community."
Precisely as COAST has said, the "Arts" community is pushing for more and more tax dollars from Hamilton County residents. Just how long will it be before Portune and Pepper, or the newly empowered Port Authority, placed a new tax before the voters for Ms. Waller's "Arts?"

COAST stands ready to continue its "anti-tax talk" on this topic, and relishes the chance to expose any tax-and-spend politician who backs such a proposal.

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