November 8, 2012

City of Mason, OH takes taxation without representation to a new level

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:30 pm

Singling out nonresidents and renters.

This post went up earlier today at OhioWatchdog.org.

Ohio’s quirky tax system already affords its cities, villages and school districts far too much leeway to tax nonresidents without their consent. Mason, Warren County’s largest city, has just shown them how to double down on that idea while also inventing a new target: resident renters.

According to the Tax Foundation, Ohio municipalities first began levying income taxes in 1946. School districts gained that ability under Democratic Governor Dick Celeste in 1989. As of 2011, the foundation says that “593 of Ohio’s 932 municipalities and 181 of Ohio’s 611 school districts impose an income tax.” According to About.com’s Tonya Moreno, “Ohio local income tax rates range from 0.40 percent in Indian Hill to 3 percent in Parma Heights.” Separate school district income tax rates range from 0.25 percent to 2.0 percent.

These taxes are especially pernicious because the tax jurisdictions involved levy them on both residents and nonresidents by primarily taxing gross earnings from employment. A majority of workers who pay these income taxes don’t live in the cities or school districts where they work. Many if not most of them only occasionally visit the jurisdictions which tax them during non-working hours. Nevertheless, they underwrite a large percentage of the cost of operating somebody else’s government and public schools without ever having had a chance to vote on whether or not such a tax was a good idea, and without any input as to how these entities operate.  This is the very kind of “taxation without representation” over which the American Revolution was fought.

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Not Yet News at AP or Politico: Jesse Jackson Jr. Said to Be in Plea Deal Talks

As of shortly before 1 p.m. ET, at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, there is no story about what the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday evening about just-reelected Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., namely that he ” is in the midst of plea discussions with the feds probing his alleged misuse of campaign funds.” There is also no story on the home page at Politico.

Selected paragraphs from Michael Sneed’s Sun-Times report follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Initial Unemployment Claims (110812): 355K SA, Down 8K From Last Week; NSA 12% Below Last Year (Update: NY and NJ DC Missing)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:50 am

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending November 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 355,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 363,000. The 4-week moving average was 370,500, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 367,250.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 355,406 in the week ending November 3, an increase of 15,489 from the previous week. There were 402,532 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

For only the second time in the 87 weeks I’ve been tracking, the previous week’s claims number was not adjusted upward. There is still a chance that it will get moved up in the coming week or two, as this has happened several times during that period.

This year’s seasonal factor of 100.1 is well below the factor of 103.7 used during the same week last year. If last year’s factor had been used on this year’s raw claims number, seasonally adjusted claims would have come in 12,000 lower (355,406 divided by 1.037 rounds to 343,000).

On balance, it’s an improvement — with a long, long way to go to get to acceptability.

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UPDATE: Zero Hedge plausibly claims that today’s claims number is suppressed because of Hurricane Sandy. We’ll know more about that next week. Also: Steveegg confirms this is the case for full states in the the first comment below.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110812)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Miracle could allow canonization of first Colombian-born saint

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Medellin, Colombia:

Oct 31, 2012 / 04:05 pm

A second miracle confirmed on June 14 by doctors appointed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints could advance the sainthood of Blessed Laura de Jesus Montoya Upegui.

According to the newspaper El Tiempo, Vatican officials are expected to issue a decision on the miracle on Dec. 10. A decree by Pope Benedict would pave the way for Blessed Laura’s canonization as Colombia’s first native-born saint.

The miracle that occurred through the 20th century blessed’s intercession was the healing of Dr. Carlos Eduardo Restrepo, who was suffering from lupus, kidney damage and muscular degeneration. After praying the Blessed Laura one night, the doctor woke up the following morning completely cured.

“Mother Laura,” he prayed that night, “If you heal me of this, I will tell the world about your miracle so that you will be raised to the altars.”

“My mind has gone blank. I don’t know if I had an out-of-body experience or if I imagined it, or if it was my subconscious, but when I entrusted myself to Blessed Laura I felt a wonderful sense of peace,” he said.

“If this isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is,” Doctor Restrepo told the Colombian newspaper.

Sister Aida Orobio, superior of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Siena – which was founded by Blessed Laura – said, “Not even her in her homeland do people realize how brave and marvelous this woman was.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.