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Saturday, January 31, 2009

DISCUSSION: IS A GOVERNMENT "FEE INCREASE" A TAX INCREASE?

On Wednesday (January 28th) Governor Strickland gave his "State of the State" speech. In that speech he promised not to raise Ohioans (and derivatively Stark Countians) income taxes.

But he did say he would recommend to the Legislature that it raise "state agency fees" (perhaps - drivers licenses, license plate fees, hunting licenses, et cetera - the possiblities are endless) to help offset the 2009/2010 fiscal year budget that the Ohio General Assembly must pass by June 30, 2009.

Is raising "state agency fees" a tax increase?

Yours truly remembers that when I first started the practice of law in 1973 that the cost of recording a document at the county recorder's office was $3.

Now the fee is $28. Over a 900% increase!

The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) holds that hiking "state agency fees" or "county government fees" is a sneaky way for elected officials to increase (let me get out my euphemisms dictionary) revenues - err - taxes.

Strickland and Stark County connected legislators Oelslager, Okey, Schuring, Shiavoni, Slesnick and Snitchler (assuming they will vote for the Strickland plan) will - at the next election cycle - jut their chests out and brag about how "in tough economic times" they coped with budgetary problems without raising taxes.

Many voters will be fooled by these politicians.

The question is - will you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will NOT be fooled. In Canton alone, the new red light / speed cameras are going to be a tax on drivers. The parking meter & ticket increases are nothing more than a tax. Driver's license & license plate increases are ALL taxes. I keep track of all of these sneaky little fees. Then you can look at the MRDD levy, the county sales tax, etc, etc .... and the politicians will claim that they never raised the income tax. Mark my words, there will be many more, so we must remain vigilant!!