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Why the sales tax hike isn’t the answer

taxes graphicI’m one of the people stirred up about the sales tax hike. I’ve already known for years that if I do my shopping in Greene county, I can save .5% on sales tax that funds the RTA- a Montgomery County Service that actually goes to Greene county on my dime (WSU and the Greene).

I was also the lone voice against giving Sinclair a second tax levy- a school which taxes Montgomery County to death, yet provides services in Greene, Preble and Warren Counties- all without them paying a lick of taxes.

And when it comes to economic development in the last 30 years, I look at the whole Fairfield Mall area- which was part cow pasture when I came to Wright State, I look at the Greene, which was forest, and I look at Cornerstone of whatever they call it- where Costco and others are- and I realize that all three are as close to Montgomery County as possible but NOT IN IT- I see the effects of our incompetent county leadership.

So when Debbie Lieberman says something stupid like:

“All the people out there getting petitions and getting stirred up over $36 a year, they definitely have a right to do that, but it’s very disappointing,” said Debbie Lieberman, Montgomery County Commission president. “We are getting cut by the state – our state Legislature and our governor.”

In June, the three Democrats on the county commission passed a 0.25 percent sales tax increase that works out to about $36 a year for every man, woman and child in Montgomery County….

If the tax increase is derailed, Lieberman said the county will be forced to scuttle a number of programs focused on the arts, economic development and criminal justice. The money is also earmarked for planned upgrades to the Montgomery County Jail, the focus of nearly a dozen civil rights lawsuits costing the county more than $1 million in recent years.

“If that (tax increase repeal) happens, every office in the county will be slashed. It could mean jobs, ” she said. “It certainly will not include the new officers we were going to provide the sheriff and all the programs to make the jail safer for our employees and inmates. All off that is off the table. It just can’t happen. There’s no way.”

Source: Deadline looms for tax-hike foes – Dayton Daily News [1]

Let’s see, when the jail started having issue after issue, did you step in and remove the leadership that was costing us millions in settlements and allowing our citizens to get death sentences for just being there? Nope.

When I look at the Salem Mall and Hara Arena, I see that you were totally inept at managing and maintaining the resources we had in Montgomery County. You, who live in Clayton, one of the newest unnecessary fiefdoms of uselessness in Montgomery County.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Debbie Lieberman, and I think that Doug Barry, who has self-appointed himself leader of the anti-sales tax hike movement,  is totally unfit for office (he’s running for Dan Foley’s seat on the County Commission. However, this sales tax increase isn’t the answer for the county and here’s why: it will continue down the road of placing the burden of government on the those the least able to pay, it’s a regressive tax pure and simple, in other words, those with the least will be hit as a percentage of their income the most.

Now, why is Doug Barry just as criminal? Austin Landing. The only place in Ohio that I know of where a two tiered income tax system is in existence and he, as a Miami Township Trustee is fine with that. Through a JEDD (a Joint Economic Development District) Miami Township, which is banned from collecting an income tax- manages to share in an illegal income tax that is only levied on the little people- those who work in retail jobs at the development. People like State Rep Jim Butler, who works in a “tall office building” get exempted from the 2% income tax. This is the most unfair tax in existence and Barry, has never said a thing against it.

The problems in Montgomery County will never be solved with more taxes, what will solve them is the elimination of insane duplication and the reduction of the number of governments. I’ve started a 501(c)(4) non-profit, Reconstructing Dayton [2], to study and clarify the wastes in Montgomery County that need to be eliminated. Something our County Government seems incapable of addressing.

Case in point- the number of municipal courts [3], their inadequate websites that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and still don’t allow online filing of cases.

And while Debbie lives in Clayton- a totally unnecessary micro-government, with its own slew of overpaid bureaucrats, my favorite waste of a community is Moraine, where 6000 people pay $25 per person, per year, just to have a City Manager who is paid $145,000 a year. Do they really need their own police department? [4] We’re working on building a visual dashboard of this kind of data [5]– so that voters can see how much of their tax burden is for pompous politicians seat at the taxpayer financed feeding trough.

Why Moraine isn’t forced to join Kettering which already runs their schools is a mystery- about as big as why we need a sales tax increase right before the feds have mandated that all online retailers start charging sales taxes which should bring a windfall to the county.

Maybe we really don’t need a Pre-school Promise [6] with its unregulated additional school board that spends a huge amount on advertising- and we should just start sending little kids books each month? The Dolly Parton Imagination Learning Library [7] has proven to increase reading scores- the “Preschool Promise” hasn’t even managed to significantly  increase enrollment in a program where your tax dollars are funneled back to private businesses running sub-standard day cares now calling themselves pre-schools.

It’s funny, when circulating the petition I’ve only had three people say no to signing to put this on the ballot. One was a former arts administrator, who sucked at the teat of tax financed support of the arts, and two lawyers, who receive subsidized day care for their kids- and are big supporters of a co-op grocery [8] for the “poor people of West Dayton” who will be most impacted by this regressive tax. The county has said if this tax increase on all goes down, they won’t have any money to support this single grocery store.

How about we just eliminate any city under 50,000 in population, and force all urban townships illegal, and eliminate all township government entirely, forcing low population density areas to use county services only- as a starting point?

The amount of money to fund all Debbie’s dreams would be available, and the number of micro-governments like Doug Barry’s Miami Township would disappear.

You can sign the petition at my office from 9-6 today and tomorrow – 100 Bonner St Dayton Ohio, it’s also available at Routsong Funeral Home in Centerville or Strehle’s Dry Cleaning of Kettering and I’m sure a few other businesses.

It’s time for the governments of Montgomery County to have to learn to live within their budgets just like the rest of us have for the last 10 years.

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Doug Barry might be better at budgeting than what we have now? Plus he’s not from the establishment. Also, if you replace county “jail” with “animal shelter” in your above sentence, it’s still true. Lieberman has also been aware of the leadership problem there and hasn’t done a damn thing (except hire attorneys and expert witnesses to cover his ass for all of his lawsuits).

Montgomery County Dem

Have you lost your mind? You want crucial services that help poor people cut and you are helping the Republican Party, whose idea this was. Maybe I should tell the Montgomery County Democrats this and have your precinct captain title stripped. Helping Doug Barry and the Republicans. Opposing a sales tax is one thing, helping Doug Barry reach his goal of 14,000 signatures is another. Doug Barry had several chances to speak in opposition and did not, in fact from what I read no republicans spoke out on it. You are opposing Carolyn Rice too. She supports the tax. You call yourself a Democrat?

Montgomery County Dem

Also this drives Republican turnout to the polls this November. This gives a reason for county republicans to vote this fall, this hurts every down ballot democrat from Courdroy to Gasper, what a move Esrati, if local dems lose because you helped republicans get the necessary signatures then they will turn out to vote on it, it will be your fault. I bet you weren’t thinking that, when you made a bonehead move. All local democrats suffer from higher Republican turnout in the county..


CORRECTION: The petition is not available at the Routsong in Centerville but rather at their main office on E. Stroop in Kettering. Deadline for sigs is 6 pm Wednesday (today). Get out and sign! This is a non-partisan issue that affects everyone.


I believe they will also be gathering sigs at the Ted Nugent concert in Huber.

Bubba Jones

“Montgomery County Dem” – Have YOU lost your mind??? How is being opposed to the sales tax a “D vs. R issue”? I’m not ever sure that Barry was the brainchild behind the petition to put it on the ballot but he sure has jumped on the bandwagon and tried to make it look like it’s his baby. Regardless, I’m sure it’s not just R’s signing or circulating the petitions. And because a leading “D” (C. Rice) is for the sales tax increase, ALL D’s have to be behind it?? The way you’re carrying on, it certainly appears as though this is your position. I guess you’re just a mindless D-party robot that does what your D-party controllers tell you to do and believe. Don’t you believe in bi-partisan efforts? You should be happy to see Esrati taking some action that he believes will help the poor, regardless of whether he’s working with other D’s or just happens to believe in the same cause that an R is working on. What ever happened to reaching across the aisle? Esrati is correct that conventional thinking is that sales taxes are regressive and hurt the poor the most. Yet you’re condemning him for wanting to help the poor. Yes, I think you have lost your mind!! You must be really proud of the D’s on the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) that were able to increase taxes on the entire population of the County with just a simple “Yes” vote. Do you know if there’s any other governing body in the County (ie – City Council, Township Trustees, etc.) that have the power to do that? I can answer that for you since you probably don’t know. The answer is “No” – no other local body can increase the actual tax rate (income tax, property tax, etc.) without a vote of the people being taxed. Only the County Commissioners can do that. And, you’re apparently OK with that. As far as Doug Barry having ample opportunity to speak against the increase – how do you know that? Did the BCC contact him… Read more »


I like the Reconstructing Dayton effort. Couple of things about the Kettering City data: clerk of council is LaShaunah Kaczynski; number of elected officials is 7 (1 mayor and 6 council members); Kettering is in Montgomery and Greene counties


Another point about the city data. By # of elected officials do you mean council and mayor/trustees only, or do you want to include court-related elected officials? Not sure but I believe Kettering clerk of courts, Andrea White, and judge(s) in Kettering Municipal Court are also elected.