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November 21, 2010
Salem News

Addressing city income tax credit

To the editor:

I would like to address the subject of the recently passed voter initiative regarding the income tax credit for those that pay income tax to the city where they work.

I want to state up front that I do not have a dog in the fight over the ordinance wording and that I did not support the passage of this initiative, but the vast majority of the citizens of Salem did.

Therefore the people have spoken and the ordinance should stand as written. I watched the Nov. 3 council meeting and heard the law director mention that city council may want to change the wording in the ordinance that was passed, because he felt the way it was written could generate a credit refund. I have a couple problems with that idea.

First off this is a voter passed initiative. If a government body can take upon itself to overrule or change a voter initiative, it makes the constitutional initiative process little more than a bad joke, as it sends the message that a government body has the final say and not "we the people."

I would urge city council to honor the constitutional initiative process and carry out the wishes of the people. Concerning the initiative itself, please read the ORC 718.121:

(A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, if tax or withholding is paid to a municipal corporation on income or wages, and if a second municipal corporation imposes a tax on that income or wages after the time period allowed for a refund of the tax or withholding paid to the first municipal corporation, the second municipal corporation shall allow a nonrefundable credit, against the tax or withholding the second municipality claims is due with respect to such income or wages, equal to the tax or withholding paid to the first municipal corporation with respect to such income or wages.

(B) If the tax rate in the second municipal corporation is less than the tax rate in the first municipal corporation, then the credit described in division (A) of this section shall be calculated using the tax rate in effect in the second municipal corporation.

(C) Nothing in this section permits any credit carryover.

I think you can see that it states: If two cities are taxing the same income, that the tax credit given, is to be limited to the tax rate of the city giving the credit. In other words, by state statute a city with a lower tax rate is only to give credit for taxes paid up to the rate that their city charges. The initiative that was passed states that the credit is a credit against the amount owed to the city of Salem. The initiative wording is in line with the Ohio revised code 718.121 by limiting the credit to the amount of Salem taxes owed. While city governments have the right of self rule they have to stay within the bounds of the state constitution and the common law of the state of Ohio. State law would dictate interpretation of this ordinance.

However, I believe the ordinance that was passed is within the constitutional rights of we the people and it also is within the bounds of the common law found within the Ohio Revised Code. I think city council should think hard and long before they would attempt to usurp authority over the will of the people by changing the wording in this ordinance or abolishing it.



List some children might find interesting

To the editor:

Hey, kids! I made a list of some things that you might find interesting. I named the list "You Got the Shaft." Take a look and see what you think.

If you're being raised by one parent; you got the shaft.

If your parents argue in front of you; you got the shaft.

If your parents use foul language; you got the shaft.

If your parents drink too much; you got the shaft.

If your parents bully you with words; you got the shaft.

If your parents never let you go to Sunday school; you got the shaft.

If your parents (your choice); you got the shaft.

So, I think you get the idea-the list could go on forever. Everyone has a list; some lists are worse than others but, no matter what, there is always a list.

Unfortunately, it is your responsibility to defeat the list. You must not allow the list to spoil your life. Someday, not too long from now, you will wake up one morning, realize that you are a mom or a dad and remember your list. You will look at your kid and say, "Kid, I don't know exactly what your list will be, but as God is my witness, I guarantee you, it won't be my list."



Advocates changing traffic control devices

To the editor:

As I recall, the energy crisis during the 70s led to a gasoline saving measure that involved rethinking traffic control devices. I see no reason why we cannot do that once more.

Traffic lights can be set to four way stop and/or caution at many intersections and some stop signs could be changed to "yield."

I've been surprised that local and state officials have not taken this initiative.


East Liverpool

County doesn't need to take on big project

To the editor:

I read that our commissioners have decided to build a brand new, 77,000 square foot building to house the Department of Job and Family Services and the masoning-Columbiana Training Association.

I would respectfully ask why our county would undertake such a project at a time when so many of our residents are jobless and/or in poverty, and struggling just to make ends meet. We are an Appalachian county where many residents worry where their next meal is coming from, and our local government has trouble just maintaining payroll for sheriff's deputies.

Yet we have no problem, apparently, moving forward on a project with an original price tag of $8 million (the true price will likely be millions more since the project has now been greatly expanded).

The story reports that the commissioners purchased 4.6 acres for $290,000.00. This would come out to over $63,000.00 an acre. Where in Lisbon is land worth anywhere near that amount? How can anyone conceivably accept this purchase price as being reasonable? The article states that the commissioners felt it was "wiser" to abandon the existing building and build a brand new one rather than make the necessary repairs and upgrades.

In my experience, "wiser" should mean "less expensive"- so are we really expected to believe that the old building would have cost more than $8 or $10 million to renovate? Much is made about the fact that the agencies inhabiting the building will be responsible for rent, etc., to offset the construction costs - but since these are government-funded agencies, isn't the money they put up to "offset" the cost of the project simply more of our tax dollars in the first place?

Many of our local politicians seem to accept the idea that state or federal funding is "free money" that has no connection to the taxpayers of this county. I would point out that all state, local and federal funds are our tax dollars, and should be viewed as such. There is nothing "free" from our government that we have not already paid for!

I am dismayed that our commissioners simply don't seem to understand that the last thing the people of Columbiana County need is an overpriced Taj Mahal for government agencies to inhabit. When it comes to our tax dollars, there is no such thing as "free."


New Waterford

Grateful for what season meant to Southern Local

To the editor:

Sadly to say Southern Locals football season is over. It has been a great ride for all who embraced it. From parents to faculty, to business owners, churches and volunteer organizations. So many people helped out in some way.

I felt it was very important to express my most sincere gratitude to the Southern Local community. You all make me very proud to be an Indian!

It is our privilege to be surrounded by people who give unselfishly and support our young people in this way. Because of your kindness you made possible some very special memories our boys will hold dear for years to come.

Great job boys! High school is a great time in your life. Your hard work and dedication had a great payoff ... you made school history together! Special thanks also to Coach Skipetar and his staff for the endless hours committed to this program and the passion to set high standards for our athletes.

May God bless all of you who believed in our young men. This season's experiences will only contribute to their belief in themselves.



Term limits would resolve stagnation in Washington

To the editor:

Well it's over or is it? The name calling, disgusting TV ads, finger pointing and unfounded accusations. We hope after being exposed to so much inexcusable childhood behavior from the newly elected candidates, they, after taken the oath of office, conduct themselves in a way that does credit to their country and themselves.

I have often wondered what unexplained force causes people to run for public office. Some candidates will spend millions of their own money to gain office, so perhaps we can eliminate monetary gain. I would like to believe most have a true desire to serve their country.

Then there are those who are motivated to acquire and retain power. These people have been in Washington way too long, some for 30 to 40 years. Their re-election is reassured time after time because of their continuous catering to their constituents and backing from self-interest groups.

There is a disease in Washington which we shall call stagnation and the only cure is term limits.

Until term limits are established and enforced a complete house cleaning will be impossible.



Family of Shelby Beight appreciates support

To the editor:

The family of Shelby Beight would like to extend a sincere thank you to all the businesses, families and individuals that donated food and silent auction items to the benefit dinner for Shelby.

It wouldn't have been the great success it was, had it not been for the support of all of you. We look forward to having Shelby home with us soon, and greatly appreciate the continued prayers and support.



East Palestine

Cub Scout Pack 2 leadership team grateful

To the editor:

The Cub Scout Pack 2 leadership team would like to extend a personal "thank you" to Salem Police Lieutenant Don Beeson for graciously hosting a tour of the police station to our Tiger, Wolf and Bear scouts on Tuesday evening, Nov. 16.

The boys have been involved in studies and activities involving safety issues, ways to respond to emergency situations, and the proper usage of the local 9-1-1 system, and the involvement with the police department and its personnel provided greater insight into the resources available within our community.

Lt. Beeson was generous enough to come in on his own time to provide the scouts with an uninterrupted evening and answer all questions regarding police operations so another scheduled officer would not be temporarily pulled away from his assigned shift duties.

His willingness to accommodate an evening visit further represents the selflessness of our officers who continually keep our citizens safe around the clock.

Again, special thanks and appreciation to Lt. Beeson for his generosity and commitment to the scouting programs in Salem.

PAM LUTSCH, cubmaster,

MINDY KISNER, den leader,

KAREN GURLEA, den leader,

GREGG WARNER, pack chairman



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