Taxation ala carte?

I don’t have kids in public school, but I pay a school levy.

I pay for the police, the fire department and other services because I’ve always thought that there was an economy of scale in doing so.

I pay for things I don’t use- and that’s ok.

But, now, Walnut Hills residents are talking about taxing themselves- for their own purposes- which is fine, but, is this a slippery slope to taxation ala carte?

They want the snow plowed in their alleys- I just want my snow plowed in my street. Do we have to set up extra taxes for services that we should already get?

Property owner pushes for special district plan
…a Special Improvement (tax) District — to some 2,500 property owners in Walnut Hills. Leitzell is president of the Walnut Hills Association and a member of Dayton’s Southeast Priority Board.

In a SID, property owners must agree to pay an assessment, in this case a flat $50 a year per building fee to generate $100,000 a year.

The Walnut Hills Special Improvement District would be bordered by Wyoming Street to the North, Pursell Avenue to the east, E. Stewart Street to the south and Woodland Cemetery to the west.

The Walnut Hills SID is being modeled loosely after the one established by the Downtown Dayton Partnership for the city’s central business district. That improvement district became effective in 1996 and must be approved every five years…

…In order for the assessment to be imposed, 60 percent of the property owners in the neighborhood must agree to pay the tax. Property owners also must agree, in general, on how the money would be used. Approval is sought by having property owners sign a petition.

The neighborhood must make a formal request to city staff to create the SID, then the City Commission has final say.

“We’re open to the conversation. It really does take a super majority of property owners with a shared vision,” John Gower, Dayton’s director of planning and community development said…

…The Walnut Hills Association plans to create a packet that other neighborhoods can use as a guide, if they also want to pursue a SID.

“Once done, other neighborhoods in Dayton and across Ohio may follow our lead,” Leitzell said.

Why don’t we just put a meter on every firetruck and bill the people having a fire? Or, only tax people who have kids for schools? Because it doesn’t work.

SID’s are a way to make sure you serve the “what’s in it for me” crowd- but very little is achieved when it comes to the big picture.

Wouldn’t it be better if the city just provided a better level of service?

What do you think?

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