A radical school funding option

Ten years plus after the Ohio Supreme Court found the Ohio school funding system flawed- nothing much has changed (other than the authorization of Charter schools- which is a whole other mess).

However, as a property owner, who is looking at a huge jump in taxes to support a school system that isn’t being funded properly to begin with (according to the court) I have to ask a question?

Why does Miami Valley Hospital get to own all kinds of property- and speculate on property- without having to pay property tax? Why does the City of Dayton get to own and speculate on property- without paying property tax (the list of properties owned by the city is insane- I once saw a green bar paper print out- with one address per line- that was over 3 inches thick!).

If the City was forced to pay the school tax on property it is sitting on- it would seem that we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul- but, in reality- what we would be doing is forcing the city to dump real estate that should be in private hands. No costs of maintenance- and opportunity for the private sector to compete for it.

Government is almost never a better developer.

As to “non-profits” like Miami Valley Hospital and Kettering Medical Network- there should be some kind of standards that they have to meet to be exempt from paying property taxes. For instance, a cap on executive pay (this would have to be nationwide to be fair)- but claiming non-profit status while your CEO is bringing in a million plus a year- is not a non-profit. Someone is profiting quite well, thank you. I’m not going to get into the mechanics of the limit- just the idea of it. Maybe a ratio linked to the median income of the “community that they serve” – or a cap based on the payroll of their organization. Also- the tax exempt status wouldn’t apply if they are just a part of a mega-conclomerate. Only locally owned and operated non-profits would be exempt.

Same would go for churches where pastors are taking home millions, mega-churches should have to pay their part for the schools. I’m not talking about property taxes in total- just the school and other public health levys.

What do you think?

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3 Responses

  1. Steven Cartwright April 24, 2007 / 3:57 pm
    Just a minor quibble–hospitals like Kettering or Miami Valley are not non-profit but rather not-for-profit. And they’re not for loss, either. They must earn money to pay employees competitive salaries, maintain and upgrade their facilities, and expand their services. They also provide a number of services to the community at or below cost. Any profit they do make is plowed back into the business, not distributed to share holders. (I’m an employee of Kettering. Can you tell?) Private, for-profit hospitals do all the same things but pay out money to their investors as well.
  2. David Esrati April 24, 2007 / 4:44 pm

    Non-profit or Not-for-profit, once the company becomes a real estate speculator- and takes real estate off the tax rolls, we have a problem.
    As to providing a number of services to the community at or below cost- I do pro-bono work too- does that get me a pass for my school taxes?

  3. Pam April 25, 2007 / 10:02 am
    The semantics can be confusing to the uninitiated. I, for one, am looking forward to my profit sharing–um, I mean “results sharing” check next month.

    Steve, I’ll take yours too, if you don’t want it. ;-)

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