Yes, the City of Toledo has a balanced budget - but at what cost?
I'm not talking about the additional tax people who live in the city but work elsewhere now have to pay...nor the $15 trash tax every home has to pay.
I'm talking about the subsequent costs everyone will incur as a result of the government taking more of our money than they did in the past.
While some will say that $15 a month in a trash tax isn't that much, to many it's a lot! The cries of "it's only...." ring hollow when you realize that you can't go to your boss and say, "Hey, the city just raised my taxes so I need another $180 a year in pay." You'll likely get some comment about being grateful you even have a job! Especially in Toledo!
So what will happen? Well, I can tell you that in our house, we'll have to cut out something we're currently purchasing in order to cover this new tax. So what will it be?
Well, we stopped going to movies quite some time ago because of the cost. There are only a couple of movies in the past several years that we've decided need to be seen on a big screen (Lord of the Rings, 2012 and Harry Potter) rather than wait for them to come out on video. So we've rented videos for about $3 each. But no more. We won't rent - and pay tax! - on five videos a month in order to cover the trash tax. If a lot of people make this decision, will that mean financial difficulties for the store and it's employees?
Or, perhaps we won't go to our favorite Chinese buffet over on Alexis. Carryout for lunch for two is about $15. People have already cut down on eating out. Will others make a similar decision and be the 'final straw' that closes this eatery?
Or maybe we won't pay the enterprising teens who come by and offer to shovel our driveway. Too bad, young entrepreneurs, but we've got a new tax to pay and the money doesn't grow on trees.
And if you're one of those live-in-Toledo-work-elsewhere people, the cuts in spending you'll have to make to cover your tax is much more severe. So sorry that Toledo politicians see you as a source of revenue and not as an equal member of the community.
These are the costs. These are the 'prices' the community pays when government decides it needs our money more than we do.
And shame on Toledo City Council for:
1) not recognizing or not caring about the negative impact of their decision, and
2) spending more than they had over the last several years and putting us into this situation in the first place.
Toledo has Issue 5 on the ballot which would allow these same politicians to divert money from the Capital Improvements (CIP) budget into the General Fund so they can continue to spend money like they have in the past.
We need to defeat Issue 5, just like we did the similar measure last November. These idiots have got to learn to live within their means just like the rest of us.
And we need to stop rewarding them for their fiscally irresponsible behavior by not 'promoting' them to other elective office (Joe McNamara and George Sarantou) and then not re-electing them to council anymore.
(I've exempted Tom Waniewski, who is running for state Senate, from that statement because he has consistently voted against the spending and the taxes.)
We cannot keep doing the same things, electing the same philosophies, and expect different results. Politicians don't bring change - only we can do that!