Thursday, April 10, 2014


UPDATED:  11:19 AM





On the May 6, 2014 primary election ballot Stark County voters will see the following:

And in the issue promotional material, you will also see likes of the following:

So the questions comes up:  Oh! free money, who wouldn't be for State of Ohio Issue #1?

Not so quick.

First, let the SCPR say at the beginning of this blog that The Report is in favor of and supports the passage of Issue #1.

However, as readers of the SCRP know, The Report like no other Stark County media, develops a depth of knowledge on topics covered that is unparalleled.

Accordingly, look at the follow chart:

(SCPR Note:  Here is a LINK to excellent source for understanding out Ohio infrastructure bondding works)

Focus on the yellow highlighted columns which, in their respective order, indicate the interest rate and yield to buyers of State of Ohio General Obligations bonds.

And guess who pays the interest on general obligation bonds?

You've got it!

You and I as State of Ohio taxpayers.

What is oft, in not entirely, left unsaid in the political campaign promoting Issue 1-esque ballot initiatives is that "to the degree that State of Ohio taxpayer money" is applied to paying interest/interest yield to bondholders there is a cost.



The cost is what is known as "opportunity cost."

It is rather fundamental and not a matter of complex mathematical calculation that to the extent one spends one "Need A;" that same money cannot be applied to "Need B."

So if one complains to a State of Ohio official as to why "Need B" is not be attended to adequately or at all and is told in response:  "Ohio government does not have the money."  Guess what, you have just experienced what "opportunity cost" is in the "real world."

It may well be that you may agree with SCPR that we Ohio taxpayers should:
Authorize the state to issue bonds or other obligations to finance or assist in financing public infrastructure capital improvements for local governments and other governmental entities. Capital improvement projects would be limited to roads and bridges, waste water treatment systems, water supply systems, solid waste disposal facilities, storm water and sanitary collection, storage, and treatment facilities.
But make no mistake about it.  There is an opportunity cost.  Other State of Ohio functions will consequently be inadequately dealt with or not done at all.

The only way the Stark of Ohio could accomplish both "Need A" and "Need B" would to be to do what?

You've got it!  Raise taxes by your the vote of your state legislature or by voter approval or by executive action (i.e. the governor's action).

Here is an example of executive action:
One issue overshadowed everything at the Statehouse in 2009 – the budget [the 2010 budget]. The saga started in January when the House and Senate were sworn in, and newly installed Speaker Armond Budish and Senate President Bill Harris addresses their chambers. Gov. Ted Strickland said he wouldn’t raise taxes in his State of the State speech, but balanced his $55 billion dollar budget with 120 fee, fine and penalty increases and cuts of 5-20% from state agencies and programs.  (Source: [emphasis added by SCPR]
Even though the SCPR supports Issue #1,  the "no tax increase" The Report thinks is just a more than a little bit disingenuous.

Those of us who support the likes of Issue #1, whether at the state or the local level, need to get in the face of the the politicos who bandy the "no tax increase" and thereby disabuse them of the notion that they can insult our intelligence with such utter nonsense.

Politicians wonder why many everyday citizens are put off by them?

Ohio Bonds to Fund Public Infrastructure Amendment (nominated presently in a programmatic sense as being the SCIP [State Capital Improvement Program] was was instituted in 1987 and first passed by Ohioans in 1995 and renewed in 2005.

Locally (and in each of Ohio's SCIP districts) the infrastructure money is handed by District Public Works Integrating Committee (DPWIC).  

Stark County is the only county composing District 19.  Jeff Dotson of the Stark County Regional Planning Commission (SCRPC) has administered the program in Stark County for over 20 years.

Yesterday, Stark County Engineer Keith Bennett who heads up District 19 - DPWIC made an appearance at the Stark County commissioners' regular weekly meeting to promote passage of a commissioners' resolution endorsing Issue #1.

Afterwards the SCPR did a one-on-one interview with Bennett so that readers of the SCPR can have a greater appreciation of the importance of Issue #1 money to Stark County infrastrucure.

And here is a Link (pdf file) to a list of specific Stark County projects that have benefited from SCIP money.

The SCPR has compiled an abbreviated list just to give SCPR readers an overview of how seemingly each and every Stark County political subdivision has benefited from the State Capital Improvement Program.

The Report thinks that SCIP is worthy of voter support.

But "it is not - a Free Lunch!"

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