Monday, June 20, 2011

Wood County hearing on Toledo Zoo levy request

From Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown:

On Tuesday, June 21st, at 10:00 a.m., the Wood County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing to consider a request by the Toledo Zoo to place a tax levy on the ballot in our county.

Ohio law stipulates that zoos can make such a request and Boards of County Commissioners may approve or deny that request.

The meeting is being held at the Wood County Courthouse, One Courthouse Square, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Your views on this matter are welcome and you are certainly welcome to attend the hearing.

If you cannot attend the hearing, you can contact the commissioners by phone at 419-354-9100, or email them at the addresses below:

Tim Brown: twbrown@co.wood.oh.us
Alvin Perkins and James Carter: commissioners@co.wood.oh.us

5 comments:

Mad Jack said...

Personally, I'm in favor of a zoo levy. This is one of the extremely few areas that I can actually see and enjoy my tax dollars at work.

Besides, when was the last time you read any statistics about the zoo being in academic emergency? See what I mean?

Maggie Thurber said...

Mad Jack - I'm glad you support the zoo...but why must it be a levy? Your support of the levy means that you support taxing everyone because you enjoy a particular agency.

How is that right for your neighbor who got laid off and hasn't been able to find a job?

How is that right for the carryout owner up the street who sees absolutely no revenue whatsoever from the zoo because he's on the other side of town?

How does increasing taxes in a down economy help turn things around?

I agree that the zoo has been pretty well run, but I don't think that increasing taxes on businesses is a good thing - and especially not in these economic conditions. And despite the claimed 'economic benefits' of the people who visit the zoo, this levy isn't going to bring in enough *new* visitors to cover the roughly $3 million expenditure by the taxed. Also remember that with the zoo taking that nearly $3 million from Wood County residents, it's actually taking $3 million in spending from the economy. People would spend that money elsewhere - perhaps in their own business venture and in the creation of jobs - so the entities that would have gotten that money will actually suffer so people like you can 'enjoy' the zoo.

Ask the zoo why they don't raise their entrance fees instead of asking for more tax dollars and they'll tell you that people won't pay. But if that's the case, it's in direct contradiction to their request that everyone pay more in taxes.

Hopefully, you have a membership to the zoo and don't just rely upon the taxation to cover your support.

Mad Jack said...

I'm your huckleberry.

why must it be a levy?
Because the zoo will not raise the funds any other way.

Your support of the levy means that you support taxing everyone because you enjoy a particular agency.
Yes, that's what it means. I'm selfish. So what?

How is that right for your neighbor who got laid off and hasn't been able to find a job?
Cry me a river, Maggie. First off, my neighbor owns his own company and makes more than I do. I suspect he makes more than both of us put together. He can easily afford this. Figuratively speaking, I don't care about those that are laid off. They don't stop using public services just because they lost their job, and in fact they begin collecting unemployment. Let him use some of that nice Obama money for the zoo.

How is that right for the carryout owner up the street who sees absolutely no revenue whatsoever from the zoo because he's on the other side of town?
He's not supposed to see any revenue from the zoo. The zoo is a luxury item, not a revenue source. For instance, the Toledo Art Museum is excellent, but it isn't a revenue source. It's entertainment.

How does increasing taxes in a down economy help turn things around?
It doesn't, mostly. But again, so what? This levy is not going to turn a prosperous, booming economy into the next great depression and we both know it.

(continued due to 4K restriction)

Mad Jack said...

And despite the claimed 'economic benefits' of the people who visit the zoo, this levy isn't going to bring in enough *new* visitors to cover the roughly $3 million expenditure by the taxed.
Again, it isn't supposed to. The Zoo isn't designed that way. It's like cable TV in that you pay your money and you get cable service. Cable service does not make you, the individual taxpayer, money. The city or community will not make more money because of the zoo, nor would they notice the loss if the zoo ceased to exist. That isn't the function of the zoo and never will be.

Also remember that with the zoo taking that nearly $3 million from Wood County residents, it's actually taking $3 million in spending from the economy.
No it isn't and you know better. The elusive three million you refer to could just as easily be invested in a foreign company or buried in the back yard.

People would spend that money elsewhere -
You have no way of knowing that. Predicting that people will behave a certain way has eluded marketing firms and economists for centuries. And if they did spend the money, that same money could just as easily be spent with a foreign company and so depart the Toledo metropolitan area as not.

Ask the zoo why they don't raise their entrance fees instead of asking for more tax dollars and they'll tell you that people won't pay.
And you believe them. They have no idea if people will pay a buck more or not. Personally, I think people would pay a little more, but that's just my opinion. The real problem is that the zoo officials want more money and they know where to go to get it, and it isn't at the entrance gate. It's in a nice, safe levy where the increase can be safely predicted rather than hoped for.

But if that's the case, it's in direct contradiction to their request that everyone pay more in taxes.
No it isn't. One is not the other. Tax money is taken from me by the government and used to fund one stupid, brainless project after another. I could not possibly care less about Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran or any other country that ends in a 'stan', nor do I care about their arsenal or evil intentions to those of us in the West. I have no idea why we still have any troops in Europe since the cold war has been over and done with for years. Who are we fighting? Germany?

I see little evidence of any of my tax dollars being used to actually make my life a little easier. Instead I see the government becoming more oppressive every single day. 'Patriot Act' my grandmother's venochie. I see public schools that fail miserably. I see people working for the State who are rude to the mere civilians that they are supposed to serve. I see legislators who, after literally 100 years, still find more law to write, enact and enforce. The zoo is one instance where I can actually derive some enjoyment of the money that was taken from me by politicos who think they know better than I how to spend my money.

Hopefully, you have a membership to the zoo and don't just rely upon the taxation to cover your support.
I do not have a membership at the zoo. Why should I? Taxes will pay for it.

Maggie Thurber said...

and thus you prove my point...


:)

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