Monday, August 24, 2009

RELEASE: Reynolds Resigns as DepDir of BMV over Strickland Tax Hike

Press Release from the Office of Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds:
HAMILTON, OH. – Packed away in this year’s tumultuous state budget discussions was Governor Ted Strickland’s decision to increase the fee on driver’s license renewals.

That decision was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds, a strong conservative who is tired of seeing federal and state government mandate higher taxes on the citizens in his county. Auditor Reynolds has decided to resign as Deputy Registrar of the Hamilton West License Bureau in light of fee increases, and allow the state to bid out the contract for the location.

“My interest in government is deeply rooted in the belief that we need to decrease the tax burden on our citizens by reducing the size of government,” Auditor Reynolds stated in a letter to Carolyn Y. Williams, Acting Ohio Registrar. “Unfortunately, Governor Strickland has chosen to fund big government by signing into law a mandatory 25% fee increase on anyone requiring an Ohio driver’s license. I refuse to be a part of his decision to pass along big government tax increases in the form of higher license fees.”

The Auditor’s office has operated the West Side BMV for several years. Upon taking over the office, Auditor Reynolds significantly improved efficiency with better internal controls and management. Reynolds commits to working with the State License Bureau until and through the transition to a new Deputy Registrar.

Reynolds has cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from his own office budget over the past 15 months, and introduced budget transparency in Butler County with a web site location for taxpayers to see line-item office expenditures. During last year’s property tax evaluations, Reynolds contested state rules by refusing to take into account the higher value year into his reevaluation. This effort led to fairer assed property values during down economic times and provided county homeowners a break on their property taxes. Reynolds also hosted town meetings throughout the county to encourage property owners to challenge the state-mandated formula for the revaluation and look for value decreases to save money. These efforts have demonstrated Reynolds’ diligence in holding the line on government spending and tax increases.

“My decision to resign as Deputy Registrar hinges largely on the governor’s decision to increase taxes (fees) at a time when no citizen can afford such a tax increase,” Reynolds stated in his letter to the acting state registrar.