Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Portune, Pepper act to raise sales tax yet again

Behind the scenes at County government

            Todd Portune and David Pepper have voted again to hold public hearings to raise the County sales tax to fund the deficit they have created in the County’s stadium fund.  Commissioners attempted in 2006 and 2007 to raise the sales tax, and each time the voters rejected the cash-grab.  In 2007, Portune and Pepper passed the tax without a vote of the electorate.  Only due to the effort of a unique coalition of COAST, the Cincinnati NAACP, the Green party, the Libertarian Party, Cincinnati Progressive Action and others, was the issue placed before the voters and defeated.

Nearby Butler County already has an advantage over other surrounding counties, which any hike would amplify. Do we really want to incentivize people to take their business elsewhere?

            The hearings take place on February 10 and February 17.  The location has not yet been announced.
            In November, David Pepper showed his low character by breaking his clear promise to taxpayers not to eliminate ore reduce the property tax rollback that was a part of the stadium deal.  His fellow democrat Todd Portune surprisingly rejected that tax hike, hanging Pepper out to dry all alone. 

Portune, far from being an advocate of fiscal restraint, finally came out of the fiscal closet, openly declaring he favors an increase in the County sales tax.  Pepper, while publicly claiming to oppose s sales tax hike (does his word mean anything?), voted in January to hold public hearings on the hike, a legal prerequisite to a sales tax increase.

Insides are predicting that Portune and Pepper will compromise on some tax increase.

The third Commissioner, a Republican, Greg Hartmann has said he opposes any tax hike and instead prefers spending cuts to balance the County’s stadium fund.

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