Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Contradictions abound - UPDATED

Update: I made a mistake in my calculations and have corrected this post accordingly.

Our local newspaper, The Blade, has an interesting editorial board. Unfortunately, they just can't stop contradicting themselves.

In this editorial about COSI, and in previous ones regarding their levy requests, The Blade makes the point that the cost of COSI is a "paltry $5.21 a year" for the owner of $100,000 home.

They've also supported just about every other levy that's ever been on the ballot.

However, in this editorial about dog licenses, they think $25 for a yearly licenses is too high:

Dog ownership should not be a privilege only of the well-to-do. People from every strata of life benefit from pet ownership, not to mention that for many, our first lessons in responsibility were learned feeding, watering, grooming, walking, and playing with a pet, often a dog. But excessive fees, such as Lucas County's highest-in-Ohio $25, encourage people, especially those of modest means, not to license their pets.

Reducing the annual fee, giving low-income families a discount, and offering on-the-spot licensing instead of a citation are ideas that might lead to more people obtaining tags for their canine friends.

So how can $25 be too much for people to pay, but they can urge voters to increase their property tax bills when they endorsed every levy on the ballot last November?

If you can afford all the other costs of a dog, shouldn't you also be capable of affording the $25 license?

If you can't afford a $25 dog license, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that you can't afford any additional property taxes for a science museum, public transportation or the zoo?

Does anyone else see the contradiction in these two positions, or is it just me?

12 comments:

Publius said...

I see it.

Publius

Publius

navyvet said...

Sorry....I have had my coffee....but?????

5.21 per month or year????????????/

Maggie Thurber said...

NavyVet - my mistake...and thanks for finding it.

I've corrected the post...

navyvet said...

You are always welcome.. :)

Have a great day...

john said...

The COSI levy request was for $5.21 PER YEAR.
THAT IS PER YEAR.
About the cost of one latte or one happy meal depending on your economic status.

Maggie Thurber said...

John - it's not the cost of the COSI levy...it's the combined costs of all the levies and the fact that the editorial board never met a levy they didn't like (sarcasm, here).

If $25 is too much for a dog license, how do they justify support for all of the levies that were on the ballot last November?

For a $100,000 home:
- the MetroParks levy was an additional $15.89
- the Library levy was an additional $19.94
for a total of $35.83. Add in COSI and the total NEW amount was $41.04.

So if $25 is too much for a dog license, why isn't $41.04 too much in additional taxes????

The question isn't the cost of COSI, it's the contradiction of the paper's editorial board that thinks these types of increases are okay for most people, but paying a license for a dog isn't.

John Westin said...

Maggie, I think your being a bit unfair with your wording here. Lets compare apples to apples with your levy amounts.

For a $100,000 home:
- the MetroParks levy was an additional $15.89
- the Library levy was an additional $19.94
- the COSI levy was an additional $5.21

So then the grand total was $41.04

You make it sound like the COSI levy was nearly $41, it was by far the smallest amount on the ballots.

Maggie Thurber said...

John Westin - let me repeat myself:

So if $25 is too much for a dog license, why isn't $41.04 too much in additional taxes????

The question isn't the cost of COSI, it's the contradiction of the paper's editorial board that thinks these types of increases are okay for most people, but paying a license for a dog isn't.


You see, the paper thinks $25 is too much for some people to pay for a dog license - but they don't think that nearly $50 (when you add the TARTA levy to the $41 for other levies) is too much for anyone to have to pay. The Blade endorsed all those levies for a total of nearly $50/year for the owner of a $100,000 home.

If $25 is too much, isn't that total amount of levies on the ballot last year also too much?

The contradiction isn't in the individual cost of the separate levies, but in the overall increase people faced from their endorsed taxes.

This isn't about COSI - it's about the Blade's contradictory message regarding levies and dog licenses.

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

Perhaps the real issue here is the fact that not once, but twice the voters have said no to a levy for the benefit of COSI. Whether the dollar amount is $5.21 per year or month really doesn't matter.

The Blade, our mayor and council, and to our county commisioners would all tell you that they strongly believe in the rights of women when they say that "no means no". When do the voters of Lucas County get those same rights?

Robin said...

Well... maybe it has to do with how much money the Blade gets in advertising money from COSI (when they were open) and from the dog warden.

If COSI were open, The Blade probably would get way more money from COSI. I'm guessing that the dog warden only puts in an ad maybe a couple times a year, when people have to register their dogs.

It's also a "feel good" thing. People don't "see" the $5.21 COSI tax because it's usually bundled in with the house payment. But, people have to write that $25 check once a year.

But really... if The Blade feels that strongly about COSI, I suggest that they fork over some money themselves to support it.

John Westin said...

Tim, what is the big deal if COSI puts a third levy on the ballot. I understand that you won't be voting for it, but if they want to pay the county to be on the ballot - so what?

The Blade, our mayor and council, and out county commissioners are not taking anyone's rights away. Everyone still gets the right to vote on the issues. In fact, the voters have the right to change their minds on any vote.

I'm guessing that the real issue for you is that you are afraid that the voters just might come around and approve a COSI levy this time.

I know it's a scarry thought for you that people can and do change their minds.

Tim Higgins said...

John,

My problem with putting this on the ballot comes in two parts:

1. COSI is a private business which does not deserve the right to ask for tax money in the first place. Playing fast and loose with the law in order to get them eligible does not make them so or deserving of consideration.

2. I am tired of government not listening to the voters who put it in place. Having the County place this on the ballot over and over again sends a message that goverment is choosing to ignore the will of the people until some special interest gets what they want. Having the city government and the daily newspaper jump behind another project financed with money that doesn't belong to them is simply rediculous.

What I am worried about John, is adding to the dinosaur collection that we have here in Toledo. COSI, ESM, a couple of apartment buildings ... when does the burden on an already over-burdened taxpayer end?

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