Ohio Tax Commissioner Richard Levin recently took a cue from Star Wars icon Obi-Wan Kenobi, who famously used The Force to alter the thoughts of others, and launched a public relations campaign designed to dupe Ohioans into believing that "Ohio is not a high tax state." Unfortunately, neither The Force, nor the facts, are with Levin.
THE TRICK: In an effort to put lipstick on the pig of Ted Strickland's 2009 $850 million income tax hike on Ohio's families and small businesses, Levin intentionally twisted data from the U.S. Census Bureau in order to claim, "Ohio is not a high tax state." [News Release, Ohio Department of Taxation 3/31/2010]
THE TRUTH: Levin converts the Census Bureau's data to "per capita" figures, despite the fact that right there in black-and-white on page 3 of the Census Bureau's report it warns against doing that, saying: "Analysis using total tax or per capita tax as a measure of tax burden on the citizens of a particular state can be misleading and misinterpreted." [Census Report, Page 3, Note to Data Users]
THE TRICK: Levin regularly ignores local taxes when calculating Ohio's tax burden, as though taxes and levies demanded by counties, cities, school districts and townships don't exist.
THE TRUTH: Local taxes account for almost HALF of all taxes paid by Ohioans. Ignoring them amounts to a deliberate attempt to mislead. Ohio's total tax burden places it 7th highest in the nation in the amount of taxes paid as a percentage of income, and 18th in the nation on a per capita basis. [Source: Tax Foundation]
Thursday, April 15, 2010
ORP goes geek to smack around Turnaround Ted
This is something we've hit on before here on 3BP, but on Tax Day I'm glad to see the ORP get into the game. Check it out: