Tagged: tax

Eminent domain questions for Blackwell & Petro

I just e-mailed the gubernatorial campaigns of Ken Blackwell and Jim Petro and asked the following question:

Would [candiate name here] support Ohio legislation to permanently prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes (see Kelo v. New London)?

I realize that the Ohio legislature passed a temporary moratorium on this kind of government taking, which expires in December. I asked instead about a permanent ban.
I’ll let you know how the candidates reply, if at all. My guess is that at least one (and maybe both) will duck the issue and defer to the “Legislative Task Force to Study Eminent Domain and Its Use and Application in the State”, which will release its first report on April 1st.

Where’s the text of the TEL Amendment?

Call me stupid, but I can’t find a copy of Ken Blackwell‘s proposed Tax Expenditure Limitation (TEL) Amendment to the Ohio Constitution. Who knows where I can get a copy online?

Update: Here it is (just scroll to the middle of the page). My thanks to Matt Naugle, who’s Ken Blackwell’s blogger and also runs the TEL website.

Pack your bags, Justice Souter

This is priceless:

Press Release
For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media
Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter’s land.
Justice Souter’s vote in the “Kelo vs. City of New London” decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.
On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter’s home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

God willing, the town selectmen of Weare will approve the request.
Hat tip: Rush Limbaugh

Pigs take wing

Michelle Malkin notes a tax revolt in progress … in Berkeley, California! The columnist writing about the backlash, Louis Freedberg, bends over backward to explain the opposition to confiscatory tax rates while remaining true to his big-government roots:

It would be easy to explain what’s happening as a sign that Berkeley, the home of the Free Speech Movement and the the first city to pass a divestment ordinance against apartheid South Africa, is losing its progressive edge.
But that would be a faulty analysis. After all, similar measures went down to defeat in other bastions of progressivism, such as San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Statewide, voters rejected 120 out of 186 tax measures placed on the November ballot by cities and counties.

Wrong, Louis. It means that even liberals get angry when it’s their own money being vaccuumed away by overreaching government. Even in San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

As someone who has lived for much of his adult life in Berkeley — and willingly paid extra property taxes so Berkeley could remain one of the world’s most livable and innovative communities — even I couldn’t bring myself to vote for all the latest tax measures this time around.

If you financially bleed a blue-stater long enough his blood will turn red … even if it’s Louis Freedberg.

I was incensed to see President Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger make cutting taxes the centerpiece of their respective campaigns — and winning. I realized that voters in Berkeley (and San Francisco, and other similar communities who are not against taxes on ideological grounds) have in effect been enabling Bush and Schwarzenegger to continue on their anti-tax crusades. By continually voting to impose higher taxes on ourselves to keep essential services going, we have made it easier for them to carry on as if the taxes they’re cutting weren’t needed in the first place.
Whatever the causes, the results of the tax cut backlash aren’t pretty. Berkeley will have to figure out how to cut $7.5 million from next year’s budget. San Francisco and other Bay Area communities are even worse off. Yet our brave tax-cutting leaders in Sacramento and Washington continue give back taxes while they raid local treasuries. Just this year, Bates said, the state appropriated $1.6 million in local property taxes that should have gone to the city. ”It’s the big fish eating the little fish,” he said.
Now the little fish are fighting back.

I feel like Brer Rabbit begging begging Brer Fox not to toss me into the briar patch. Please, Berkeley voters, do whatever you like … but don’t “hurt” us by voting down more tax measures!

Attention, Ohio GOP: your bus may be leaving

The outgoing Republican president of Colorado’s Senate digs through the entrails of the Democrat election victory there and identifies some themes that look eerily familiar to Ohio conservatives.

It was motivation, above all, that powered this Democrat victory. Democrats were driven and hungry from decades in the political wilderness. Republicans were complacent and soft from too long in power. Their motive for winning was to get in there and do things. Ours, it often seemed, was merely to stay in there. These attitudes translated into discipline and unity for Democrats, indulgence and disunity for Republicans. GOP factionalism was endemic and fatal.
The message gap was a consequence of this motivation gap. Democrats talked about making Colorado a better state, about not letting Republicans cut cherished programs, and about the GOP’s supposed obsession with “gays, guns, and God.” Republicans talked about … what? Other than denying their charges and hurling some back, we pretty much punted. Republican candidates picked their own issues locally. Churchill would have called it a pudding with no theme.
Our campaign had what one analyst termed a sort of Nixon-Ford tiredness and blandness. I had considered, back in 2003, framing a conservative Contract with Colorado to provide a single, statewide framework for all 75 state Senate and House races. But after sizing up the competing intra-party fiefdoms and tensions, I decided not to start that fight. Mea culpa; I should have fought.

“A Nixon-Ford tiredness and blandness” pretty accurately describes our own Governor Bob Taft, scion of a powerful old Ohio family and a politician whose strongest claim to conservatism seems to be the (R) appended to his name. He opposed the recently-enacted concealed carry legislation, opposed the gay marriage ban, and didn’t earn himself the nickname “Governor Tax” by accident.
Three Republicans have announced their intent to replace Taft when term limits force him to step down in 2006: State Auditor Betty Montgomery, State Attorney General Jim Petro, and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (toward whom I’m leaning at the moment, since he’s been burnishing his conservative credentials).
Ohio Republicans need to find a bona fide fiscal and social conservative to take Bob Taft’s place. Once we have that candidate identified, we need to round up support early, before our tired and unimaginative party leaders anoint someone more “safe.” Pushing a bland pudding with no theme on Ohio voters isn’t going to get Republicans elected to state offices. Just look at what happened in Colorado.
Then we need to identify districts with retiring or vulnerable Representatives and Senators in both parties, and cajole some conservative businessmen, military vets, and civic leaders to step forward and run for office. A truly conservative Legislature will cut our high tax burden and rein in spending, while returning our government to the pro-family and tough-on-crime stance that Ohio voters obviously want.
Party discipline matters, but party survival’s more important. The Ohio GOP has gotten fat and lazy. It’s time to clear out the deadwood before the Democrats do it for us. My Senator lives two streets away, so I’ll start the grilling here. Who’s with me?