Vote No on 6- Metroparks, a 28.5% increase in taxes

5 Rivers Metroparks NO levy bannerWhat the folks at “Five Rivers MetroParks Levy Committee” aren’t telling you is this isn’t a renewal, it’s an increase.

They like to play games and say “Our investment is $1.48 more monthly (per $100,000 property)” which is how us advertising professionals are trained to hoodwink you into buying something you can’t afford.

Let’s be clear, while you may live in a sub-$100,000 home, that factory you work in, is valued at a lot more than $100,000, and increasing taxes on businesses in a county that’s already the highest taxed county in the state is exactly why you are seeing huge investment in Warren County and a loss of population in Montgomery.

Need proof- go look at the giant distribution warehouses in Monroe. And, just remember- those new warehouses at the airport- they don’t pay this tax, nor does UD, Premier Health, Kettering Health, the Feds, Sinclair etc. This is a tax increase of way more percentage wise than the rate of inflation has gone up- or your paycheck. The only thing that’s rising like this is the cost of health care and we don’t get to vote on that.

The other thing is- this is an early levy, their levy doesn’t expire until 2019. The current 10-year levy expires at the end of 2019. Of course, your property tax re-evaluation is in 2020, so your taxes could go up twice.

Now, before you say “That Esrati, he’s just against every tax levy” let’s be clear, I’m not against every tax levy, I’m just against the ones where there is either little or no oversight and control. The Metroparks are yet another example of duplication of services that we pay for because we’re too stupid to consolidate and make things efficient in Montgomery County. Do you know who the board is of the Metroparks? Do you remember voting for any of them? Do you even know how many people are on this board, spending tax dollars on things like defunct golf courses and rocks in the river to create a water park for a couple of thousand yuppies to paddle board and kayak.

This separate entity should be underneath the county commissioners and that’s the end of the story. The next question is if it wouldn’t be more efficient to have every municipality cede their parks and recs department over to the county parks system and actually have one coordinated effort county wide. Imagine real kids programming for parks- available everywhere.

Another issue is how tax levies like this are placed on the ballot in August- giving opposition no time to organize and compete. It’s amazing you have to turn in petitions in February to run for City Commission in November, but a tax levy gets to be thrust on voters at the proverbial last minute.

Looking at their minimal campaign finance reports, it looks like the entire levy is being run for under $43K that they’ve had in the account for ages. However, this is an advantage of being a Political Action Committee- you can hide your donors till the last minute- or even after the election.

I’m guessing they are spending considerably more that $43K on the campaign I’ve been seeing. The thing is, they’ve never been told no by the citizens of the overtaxed Montgomery County.

We’ve got great Metroparks, but, our community can’t be expected to support a 28.5% increase in property taxes in addition to the burden already from 2 Sinclair Levies, 2 Human Services levies, a library levy, and the recent bumps in income taxes in so many of the communities.

Maybe the first place we could start with bumping tax receipts would be to eliminate the loophole for people like Ohio 41 incumbent Jim Butler and his township living co-workers at Austin Landing, who can avoid paying income tax in their upstairs offices while the retail workers all pay a 2% tax. (To be clear, since Butler lives in Oakwood, he can’t avoid their income tax, all 2.5% of it, but, that it’s allowed to discriminate by the color of the collar of your shirt- we have a problem).

Taxing in Montgomery County is a hot mess. We really need to reduce the number of taxes, the number of taxing organizations and all the duplication of services. See Reconstructing Dayton for more information. But in the meantime, vote no on 6 and ask Metroparks to be more reasonable in their tax hike.

UPDATE

23 Oct 2018- Amy from Metroparks came to my neighborhood meeting to add support. Actually told me I had my numbers wrong, the increase is BIGGER than 28.5%.
But, let’s put this into perspective. The Dayton Mall is already struggling to compete with the Greene and the Fairfield Commons Malls- add this tax on top of their bill- and you can almost seal the deal on it’s demise. Here’s the thing, Metroparks is blaming the Ohio house which locks in levies not to collect more than what they get when passed- no matter what your property valuation does. That’s all well and fine- but, the idea of flexing our property values based on arbitrary appraisals is also insane. We need to lock price by actual market value for the purchaser- with no flex built in. This stops gentrification and screwing people for fixing things up. We also have to look at redistricting counties as well as precincts. There is no reason for Beavercreek and Fairborn not to be part of Montgomery County, and have rural parts of Western Montgomery county in a more rural county.

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