Can politicians say no to anything?

Recently, the State House started to clear the way for Video Slots at racetracks. Local news cuts to Nan Whaley, where she is gushing about the jobs at the proposed Needmore racetrack. [note: there will still be a huge fight between track owners over the 50-mile radius guaranteed to track owners]

Much fanfare was made over the new GE Episcenter- where somehow, GE, a multi-billion-dollar company, gets a brand new building built with taxpayer support, gets to opt out of taxes and make “payments in lieu of taxes” to their new landlord, the University of Dayton- a private Catholic university- for the next 15 years with a TIF agreement. The following 15 years, they get reduced tax rates to the schools. Again- there is Nan all happy about “the jobs.” This is nothing other than corporate welfare.

No mention that gambling is a tax on stupid people- where the odds will always favor the house, never the bettor.

No mention that General Electric paid no U.S. Federal tax at all in 2010. Somehow, we’re supposed to get out of debt and fix our city by giving away the store.

Why do we allow politicians the power to give tax breaks in the first place?

We went to war over taxation without representation- how about a war on tax breaks without a vote by the public? If I wanted to invest in GE- I should buy stock- not pay taxes.

It’s time to outlaw tax breaks to any business that aren’t available equally- over the entire nation. No more shortchanging local school districts in order to “bring jobs” to a community, no more brinksmanship like the deals that were tossed around to keep NCR here.

It’s time to say no to all tax breaks at any level below the Federal level- and those, need to be put to a national vote. We can’t trust our pay to play politicians who are only worried about raising money for their next campaign to be involved in picking winners and losers anymore.

It’s time to just say no to tax breaks.

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10 Responses

  1. truddick June 23, 2011 / 12:41 pm
    Why exempt the feds?  It’s unfair for any specific entity to receive a special tax rate.  They ought to be limited to defining tax types and brackets, and anyone gets to pay the lowest tax for which they qualify.

    That is the only “fair” tax; one that applies to all based on criteria, not individually.

    We’d also save a raft of problems if we repealed all the regressive taxes (property, sales, VAT) and increases income taxes to compensate.  I’d gladly see my net income reduced if I didn’t need to fool with property taxes and sales taxes–my net income would go just as far, and we’d eliminate the economy-chilling problems of people losing homes b/c their fixed incomes can’t keep up with property taxes, etc.

  2. Truth June 23, 2011 / 5:14 pm
    Big difference between tax loopholes, breaks, and incentives….
    The main issue with the casinos, that many voters didn’t understand and still don’t understand, is the issue with competition, or lack thereof, and the political grabassing that went along to allow Penn Gaming and the other team to work in cahoots.
    The main issue, is that if I were a billionaire, and Ohio allows regulated gaming, I can’t open a casino within those regulations.  They have essentially opened the door for non-competition among this entity.
    It doesn’t matter if you agree with the tax issue, or gaming in itself….the major issue is that they have regulated competition among a regulated market.  Most of these politicians couldn’t find their ass with both hands, let alone make competent decisions and legislation for the citizens.
  3. Gary June 23, 2011 / 9:28 pm
    Didn’t Obama offer tax breaks on businesses making under $250K a year?  If so David, would you go for it?  I agree with Truddick that property taxes are way too high!
    On horse racing though, they are not made to win every time like the house, it’s a real gamble there!  And it’s fun; Dayton needs this one!
  4. Civil Servants Are People, Too June 24, 2011 / 12:44 am
    The GE deal is a big win for Dayton.     Even assuming GE wanted to stay near the Cincinnati plant, they could have gone anywhere in a 50 mile radius – including Kentucky or Indiana.
    If you had a vote between a tax break for GE or passing up these jobs, you would say no?  Really?   How would you feel when GE decided to build in Beavercreek instead?   They still could, you know.
    As the saying goes: don’t hate the players, hate the game.    I’ve said before and will say again, this is the new reality in corporate America.   The city that doesn’t play the game will lose.   Every time.    Sad, but true.
    And no, you can’t claim that more cops and parks would save the city.    Maybe in the long run, sure.   But today?  Right now?   Seal the deal or watch it go bye-bye.    That’s your choice.
    The moral high ground doesn’t get you any jobs.
    Competition is the American way, right?
  5. Bob from the Boro June 24, 2011 / 6:41 am
    Corporations do not pay taxes.  They are legal entities which are owned by shareholders who are the ones that actually pay the tax. 

    We need a wholesale reform of the tax code to treat everyone the same.  The Fair Tax is the answer.  It treats all taxpayers the same, and removes the social engineering power from the political class.

  6. Joe Lacey June 24, 2011 / 10:15 am
    CSAPT hit the nail on the head.  One community saying no to this type of deal would do nothing to change the system of communities competing for these projects with tax abatement incentives.
  7. Civil Servants Are People, Too June 24, 2011 / 7:31 pm
    Bob, the Fair Tax is a joke.   No legitimate economist or tax policy expert will ever take it seriously.      It’s completely regressive and shifts the tax burden tremendously onto the working class – even more than the system does now.    Yes, we need reform – but not that one.
    Yes, corporations do pay taxes.    For better or worse, our legal system treats them the same as a person.   So you’re wrong on both counts.
  8. joe_mamma June 26, 2011 / 10:29 am
    “Bob, the Fair Tax is a joke. No legitimate economist or tax policy expert will ever take it seriously. It’s completely regressive and shifts the tax burden tremendously onto the working class – even more than the system does now. Yes, we need reform – but not that one.” CSPT

    Wrong. It is also not regressive and its apparent you have not read much about it. 

    “Yes, corporations do pay taxes. For better or worse, our legal system treats them the same as a person. So you’re wrong on both counts” CSPT

    Again wrong.  Corporations pass on taxes.  Taxes are a cost of doing business and are mostly just built into the price of goods and services.

  9. Ice Bandit June 26, 2011 / 2:03 pm
    “Bob, the Fair Tax is a joke. No legitimate economist or tax policy expert will ever take it seriously. (CSAPT)
    …a joke, dear CSAPT? Here’s the real knee-slapper; the thought that any “legitimate economist” or “tax expert” had anything to do with the prosperity-killing, dysfunction-enabling, incomprehensible, let’s pack-up-and-move-to-Beijing mountainous morass with currently call a tax code. Nosiree, dear CSAPT, every exemption and shelter in that voluminous, 30-chapter set of books was the result of a politician on the take. And since the political class is deaf to vox populi, it is the duty of the electorate to wrest that power from them now and forevermore, which the fair tax would do. And since every President seems to view the IRS as his attack dog, it is way past time for that canine to be fixed. And since the busy bodies and nanny-class think the tax code is a method of behavioral modification, rather than a way to pay for essential services, time to neuter them as well….

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