Ohio Cities Extorting Non-Resident Non-Workers

As covered extensively in the paywalled Columbus Dispatch article “Should you pay commuter taxes while working from home? Republicans say no, cities say yes” (where by “Cities” they mean Democrats), with the advent of COVID-19 the Ohio State Legislature is aiding and abetting a money-grab for unionized workers of large cities.

Ordinarily, Cities claim that a person working within the imaginary lines that define their corporation gives them the authority to seize a portion of any income earned within that city to fund “services” the city offers in return – whether they are used or not.

Under COVID rules though, many employees have been re-assigned to work locations outside of these cities.  They do not enter the City’s imaginary corporate boundaries, so they place no burden on Police, Fire, or other resources.

To maintain political power, politicians in control of Cities wish to keep their politically influential City employee unions senselessly staffed at pre-COVID levels – lack of demand for services be damned.

Their solution to this is to pretend that COVID never happened.  They’ll just keep tax-extorting people who haven’t worked within their fiefdom for months.  Meanwhile, the victims of their extortion racket are unable to benefit from access to their hard earned money for COVID-related expenses that can’t be imagined away.

As the Dispatch article mentions, The Buckeye Institute is going to bat for affected Ohioans in Franklin County Court case 20 CV 004301 (you’ll need to agree to the courts terms before visiting the link to see the content).

As Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) said in the dispatch article “What’s to stop Akron from taxing you or Youngstown? It’s unconstitutional, I believe, to tax someone who does not work or reside in their territory.”

Misrepresenting Election Outcomes

In the Dispatch editorial Well done, Mr. Mayor published on December 31st, they referred to “a 2009 ballot issue, in which city residents agreed to raise their income taxes to 2.5 percent from 2 percent”.

While it is true that the 7.3% of voting aged city residents raised their own taxes, they also raised the taxes of the 92.7% of voting aged Columbus residents who did not vote to support the measure – as well as the taxes of tens of thousands of residents who are now taxed under this scheme but were not old enough to vote at the time.

It is important to remember, that one does not need to vote to contribute more money to the City – anyone may give voluntarily. A vote is only required to force your neighbors to pay for the things that you value and they do not.

Saying that “city residents agreed” when only 7.3% did is misleading, careless, and results in continued electoral injustice.

Update: The first calculations were back of a napkin estimates… I’ve tried to make them a little concrete using a spreadsheet based on the election data with 2010 census data to fill the gaps.  Below is a chart of the percentages from that process.

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