Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Reader Submission: Commissioner Geissman is being an obstructionist

Medina County Commissioner Pat Geissman is playing the old and stale republican argument against helping school districts. In her recent "Gazette" article she asked if the governor and legislature should have a chance to do something about school funding. The legislature’s political balance has been republican for about 16 years now. The past 13 years that same legislature has ignored 4 rulings by the Ohio Supreme Court to fulfill their legal duty and follow the Constitution of the State of Ohio. Is Ted Strickland going to make them suddenly change their posture? She states the obvious that voters don’t like property taxes. Evidently her obstructionist attitude has caused brain lock. A sales tax is not a property tax. It is the fairest way to spread an increase. The amount of the tax you pay is based on what you spend. Her shortsightedness also seems to ignore the fact that everyone who buys something in Medina County would pay not just those of us who live here. She has not done her homework when she says that a sales tax isn’t meant for schools. The very law language, which requires the county to put it on the ballot specifically, references school districts. Geissman’s blockading of a new concept is further supported by her argument that maybe the county will need an increase although she doesn’t think so. Thinking like that can be applied in almost every situation anyone ever faces. Something may impact on my decision someday so I will not have the courage to make a decision today. She admits that she isn’t an expert on school funding and that local school boards are very capable and responsive. Those boards put the issue on her desk and she has admitted she isn’t capable in school funding so she is going to ignore the wishes of the school boards and be unresponsive. Obviously Geissman has learned well from her school-funding mentor Chuck Calvert. Over 60% of Ohio spoke loudly last November and elected Democrat Ted Strickland Governor with the directive to fix school funding. Geissman evidently didn’t hear or read about that message. She needs to be sent her own message when she is next up for election.

Dave Osborne


tgyse said...

Ohio voters don't like taxes.
This is why the R's have enjoyed domination for a generation.
Get it?

SNAFU said...

A sales tax is not a property tax. It is the fairest way to spread an increase. The amount of the tax you pay is based on what you spend.

First, I'm not sure how you defined "fairest way" but a sales tax is a classical regressive form of tax (i.e., tax paid relative to income decreases as income increases) while income tax is usually viewed as a progressive tax.

Generally, many would view a regressive tax as being very unfair to the masses. Perhaps your intention is to tax the poor until the leave Medina County?

Second, your thrist for the sales tax solution to fund a fix to the school funding situation is quite interesting too given this County's and State's record with sales tax increase proposals. Several years ago, this State defeated, by a wide margin, to increase the sales tax to support its requirements for school funding.

Simply stated, higher taxes, especially higher sales taxes, don't produce the forecasted revenues - they generally eliminate jobs and capital spending by businesses. Some proponents claim that a 1/2 cent increase is hardly noticable is sheer smoke and mirrors. For them, micro sales tax payments act as an inoculant for the total taxes paid over the year. Would you rather pay $100 in 1/2 cent increments or as a lump sum?

As for Pat Geissman's failure to immediately embrace this funding silver bullet, you're probably upset with the In a letter to commissioners, Medina County Prosecutor Dean Hol-an and Assistant Prosecutor Bill Thorne for seeking the State Attorney's opinion on the issue too.

What is lost in all this discussion is the massive amount of evidence indicates that spending on schools is not closely related to school quality or student learning.

Yes, Medina County has a problem that needs addressed relative to the school districts' spending needs and desires. However, it should not start with premise that quality we seek is "Excellence" and therefore we need to spend more to get it.

If anything, our schools' success has drawn excessive development to the county which is straining our resources and causing overcrowding in the schools.

Perhaps a real fix would be charge higher impact or utility connection fees to new developments in the area (pays for new school improvements) vice raising the sales tax?