Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BUTLER COUNTY: Sales Tax, Sheriff Spotlight, and the Tea Party

Michael Pitman has a story worth spending some time with...
Commissioners are considering a 0.25 percent sales tax increase, which was presented last week, to offset the county’s projected $7 million budget shortfall for 2011. They are meeting today with other officeholders to hash out a plan.

The idea of digging any deeper into the pockets of recession-weary taxpayers didn’t go over well in some sectors of the county. While Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones and the county’s Fraternal Order of Police gave conditional support to raising the sales tax, local tea party officials wanted to remind commissioners that government needs to cut spending before raising taxes.

“I think the commissioners would have to go a long way in convincing the community and lay out the facts and making sure people understand before they increase the sales tax,” said Susan McLaughlin, a Liberty Twp. Tea Party member. “We voted for them to manage the money they have. If that means saying no, then say no.”
Emphasis added. The local Tea Party folks should take notice of Sheriff Spotlight's position and act accordingly... Sheriff Jones is NOT a genuine ally of the Tea Party movement when it comes right down to it.

Lord help me, the DEMOCRAT in this story actually sounds reasonable:
Butler County Democratic Party spokesman Mark Hardig called it disgraceful to consider a sales tax increase.

“Our Republican commissioners promote themselves as fiscal conservatives, but then borrow, spend and tax ,” said Hardig . “After a decade of waste, fraud and abuse, they should not now expect a taxpayer bailout.”

Hardig said he found it ironic that commissioners would take a look at a sales tax hike just weeks after the general election.

“It would have been more honest to put the tax increase to the voters. Let them decide if it’s deserved,” he said.
Let the voters decide if they want a tax hike or not. My position remains the same: More cuts are required to balance this budget. Difficult times require tough measures and certain fiefdoms are going to have to be reigned in...

And Let's all take a moment to focus on newly elected Commissioner Cindy Carpenter...
Butler County GOP executive committee chairman Dave Kern declined to comment on the tax proposal, as did Commissioner-elect Cindy Carpenter because she did not attend Monday’s meeting and did not hear what was discussed.

Carpenter talked about her opposition to a sales tax increase several times on the campaign trail. Last week, when the sales tax was introduced, Carpenter said she preferred to “squeeze out every dollar that we can out of revenues and cut every dollar that we can in expenditures.”
Raising taxes -- particularly without the consent of the governed -- is a still a bad idea...

UPDATE: In a move that surprises absolutely nobody, the Butler County Commission voted unanimously to let Sheriff Spotlight have his way...again.

The voice of reason belongs to the woman from the Tea Party who said:
"I am not for the tax," said Adriana Inman, a member of the Fairfield Township Tea Party. "I believe the people have spoken," she said, referring to the recent election when voters elected many fiscally conservative candidates.
I know I will remember that none of these guys are fiscal conservatives from here on in...

Also note that this meeting took place in the middle of the day while the taxpayers were at work...very slick, guys! I'll remember that too...