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.