But then they say:
"We have argued over the years that the surcharge should not be made permanent, as is the 1.75 percent payroll income tax, but that renewal should be required from time to time specifically so residents can express their opinion on how the city is run."
Their point seems to be that we should only threaten non-renewal during better economic times.
But how then, would that express our opinion of how the city is being run?
If the renewal is only challenged when it's not needed - or when the city might be able to absorb such a cut in funding - then it isn't a valid tool for forcing change or providing feedback about dissatisfaction with spending.
This temporary tax has become a necessary portion of city revenue only because the council and mayor have become dependent upon its constant renewal. They continue to spend as if this money will always be there, and they appeal to the fears of citizens by threatening police and fire as the first cuts if the tax is not renewed.
Rev. Floyd Rose, and several callers to my Eye On Toledo radio show, have urged the defeat of this tax because they believe it is the only way to actually get the attention of the elected officials. If other methods had proven successful and we were actually seeing city government be responsive to problems and concerns, such levy opposition wouldn't be materializing.
Calls for defeating the levy should be a wake-up alarm for all our elected officials - but if various editorial boards and organizations (community and unions) support this levy as is, it will provide cover for the elected officials to continue in their current ways and will give them the excuse to ignore the demands for change.
Another thing to consider is that support for the status quo may backfire by energizing the over-taxed and frustrated citizens who are considering opposition to this measure.
If voting for the tax is the method for expressing dissatisfaction with the way the city is being run, I believe it is a contradiction to say that citizens should only do so when the city can survive the impact of the defeat.
For years, dire consequences have been the only prediction for the defeat of this tax. If the city has become so dependent upon this tax that dire consequences are the only option if it doesn't pass, maybe it's past time for us to vote no.