Proposed income tax hike is cause for concern
I become concerned whenever I see the increase of a percentage-based income tax. With respect to the Youngstown city income tax question, I have two concerns.
The first is that the city does a poor job with its collection of the tax. Specifically, I am concerned with the tax form and instructions we receive at the end of each year. They are very difficult to decipher, and I wonder if the city gets only what is withheld from pay while failing to get its lawful share of other income.
Perhaps a collection where the tax is based on the filer's federal tax form could increase city revenues somewhat.
The state of Ohio does it that way. The state just asks for the line-34 amount on the taxpayer's federal tax form and then does what it wants with deductions. The taxpayer does a careful job on the federal form and then the state uses that as the basis for its income tax. Why can't the city do the same?
It's just a thought. But please understand that I am not saying I like taxes!
My second concern is the increase in income-tax percentages. With a given percentage tax, when money and income is short, the tax amounts are smaller, and likewise as incomes increase, tax amounts grow larger. It does not make sense to increase the percentage in order to increase the city's funds. Rather, since income is lower for us, the city should deal with it and cut its spending until incomes increase again. That is what we have to do when our incomes decrease.
We only have 100 percent of our income to be taxed. When all the percentages total 100 percent, that will be it for us. The government takes it away and then they have to give us some back if we are even to live. Higher tax percentages equate with more government control and the loss of our freedom to spend the fruits of our labors as we wish.
I am in favor of holding percentages constant, or decreasing them. Less taxes and more freedom with our money is not a bad thing.
Trip to the mall gives hint of who is paying the tax
Recently my family and I went to dinner and a movie, then later to the mall. While we were out, we counted as many license plates as we could that were from outside Mahoning County. Let me tell you that there were several from Pennsylvania, several from Columbiana, and several from Trumbull County. And while all these people chose to come to Boardman to eat, take in a movie, or shop for school clothes, they too were contributing to our half percent sales tax.
I can think of at least three major events that attract thousands of visitors to this area, the Hot Rod Super Nationals, the Canfield Fair, and Christmas shopping. I would like to remind the voters of Mahoning County that this tax that we are being asked to pass in November is not an income tax, but a sales tax. This is not a tax that is exclusive to the residents of Mahoning County, but shared by everyone who has taken the opportunity to visit, what we as a community, have worked so hard to make a nice place to live.
As a life long resident and a small-business owner, I want my children to be able to graduate school and raise their children here. This is why I feel that this tax is so important to the future of this area. We now have the opportunity to take a step forward. We can ill afford to retreat to the depressed era of the mid '80s and expect to progress as a community.
Imagine Boardman awash in booze; it could happen
I noticed in The Vindicator's listing of ballot issues for the upcoming November election that Boardman is being inundated with requests for state liquor agencies. Do we really want hard liquor being sold in Giant Eagle grocery stores? And don't Gino's and Chalet Premier already operate liquor stores?
If all of these issues pass, two of the liquor stores will be in the same precinct, and the other two will be right across the street from each other. Furthermore, the Rt. 224 Giant Eagle and the proposed Chalet Premier II will be located within very close proximity to two churches, Boardman Christian and St. Charles, and their respective schools.
I hope the voters in Boardman take a stand in November and defeat these issues before it's too late.
Crows fly, not kids
I am a mother of four elementary school children. We live on the West Side of Youngstown. There is a major problem with transportation here. I know I am not the only mother who feels this way.
My kids have to walk more than a mile to school every day. The board of education s rule is & quot;as the bird flies." According to this, we are less than one mile. Anyone over this mile can ride the bus. This would be OK if my kids could fly! They cannot walk through houses so, therefore, they walk more than a mile. This is not fair.
Wait! There's even more. My children have medical problems. They are also in D.H. My youngest boy has epilepsy and joint problems. My oldest son has chronic asthma and is partially deaf. How can these people make them walk? Right now I have doctors faxing the board lots of medical excuses for them. School officials are saying that these need to be examined further to determine eligibility. My son can have a seizure somewhere along the road. What is there to & quot;determine & quot;?
I would transport them myself, but I have medical problems also. I need surgery on Sept. 11 (of all days) I cannot take them for a while after that. I also have a four-year-old girl in kindergarten and a seven-year-old girl in second grade. Technically they should not walk either. With all the abductions and such going on, no young child should walk.
The woods were lovely, dark and deep; no more
I have lived on Royal Arms, Liberty Township, since 1979. At the back of our property there were 14 acres of thick woods, where vegetation and wildlife abounded.
On Aug. 21, that era ended. The people who own that acreage sold timber rights to a logging company and the trees came falling down. Dropping with them were my spirits and a thousand memories.
Having two children ages 25 and 22, it seems they grew up in those woods as well as in our home. If I close my eyes, I can see them on a raft floating in the woods after a heavy rain. I can see them as adolescents with their friends having a huge bonfire, roasting marshmallows. I can see my son Scott scurrying up a tree to recover a balloon set free by a school in Canada. I can see them hiking through the woods all the way to Tibbets Wick and back, declaring it their own Yellowstone.
My heart melts with memories of a deer family living in the woods one snowy winter, when all the trees seemed encrusted in a shimmery glow of snow and ice.
I wonder as the trees come crashing to the ground if the men cutting realize they are scarring the neighborhood pet cemetery. I wonder how many dead cats, rabbits, birds and gerbils are buried there. I count eight of our own.
I am thankful for the 23 years I had bonding to these woods, but I want 23 more for myself, my new neighbors, small children and memories.
I wish I didn't have to see the once beautiful woods looking like the aftermath of a ravaged tornado. My mind keeps saying rape of the land. My heart keeps saying stop.
In the meantime, as each tree is dropped, I shed a tear for days gone by.