Pounds: Taxing proposalWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo’s “temporary” income tax, enacted in 1982, has lasted longer than much of its contemporary culture. A number of entertainers who made an impact in 1982 are no longer with us. Richard Pryor, Paul Newman, John Belushi, Blake Edwards, Dudley Moore, James Garner, Jack Lemmon, Henry Fonda, Burt Lancaster, John Gielgud, Katharine Hepburn and John Updike have all passed.
The biggest TV shows of the year, “Family Ties,” “Cheers” and “St. Elsewhere” have long faded from prime time, although that was also the year “Late Night with David Letterman” debuted.
The dominating musicians of the day, J. Geils Band, Human League, Asia, Men at Work, Survivor and Toni Basil, haven’t impacted the charts in decades.
In 1982 business news, AT&T was broken up by the Department of Justice, General Motors workers made major pay concessions, Exxon closed nearly 1,000 service stations, the national unemployment rate was 10.1 percent by September and the Social Security system borrowed funds for the first time.
Against that bleak 1982 economic background, the City of Toledo enacted a “temporary” 0.75 percent income tax. The world has since moved through many stages and eras, but every four years, Toledoans have approved the renewal of the tax, and will be asked to do so again in March. It won’t be popular but it is necessary, a crucial component of the city’s relative stability. I understand Councilman D. Michael Collins’ idea to drop the pretense and make the tax permanent, but Mayor Mike Bell and Council did the right thing by ensuring voters have a say every four years.
Councilman Tom Waniewski is on the right track by suggesting a reduction in the amount of the money that can be moved from capital improvements to the general fund, but his proposed drop from
$17 million to $8 million would be a dramatic sudden cut and a potential shock to the system.
There are signs of development in our city, but there is a long road to travel and a tremendous amount of work to be done. City resources are already strained; rejecting the 0.75 percent “temporary” tax would only serve to create some permanent problems.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.
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