Akron, OH – The Ohio Citizens PAC came out today to support two initiatives by the Ohio Senate. The group supports Ohio House Bill 5, which brings some much needed reform to Ohio’s burdensome and overly complicated Municipal Tax system, and Senate President Keith Faber’s Ballot Issue Plan On Pay Raises. HB 5 passed the Ohio Senate on Wednesday and the Ohio Citizens PAC is urging all Ohio House members to vote to pass it this week so that the Governor can sign it into law before the end of the year. The Pay Raise Ballot Issue (SB9) is being fast tracked and was referred to the State Government Oversight & Reform Committee before going to the House.
In announcing it’s support, the organization’s President, Tom Zawistowski, said “While HB 5 has been through a multi-year gauntlet, during which municipalities have managed to remove many reforms that are still needed, the bill is still a small step in the right direction. However much more needs to be done as was outlined in the recent Buckeye Institute white paper released November 6, 2014. The dirty little secret in Ohio is that we are not one of the highest tax states in the nation because of state taxes, but because of the 6,400 local taxing agencies that take $4 billion out of Ohio tax payers pockets each year. Often through double taxation schemes and onerous penalties and fees from employers who fail to navigate the convoluted and confusing tax landscape. This hurts small business employers and stifles job creation. We urge the House to pass this bill and then do more in the next session.”
Zawistowski added “Our organization and all Ohio tax payers should be against the Stebelton pay raise bill in the Ohio House, which pretty much just gives every state employee a 3% raise. The Faber Pay Raise Ballot Issue (SB9) is a much more fair and reasoned approach to the problem. While there is no way to completely take politics out of the mix, this bill strikes the right balance of having citizen involvement with the process with some legislative oversight. We expect it to clear the Senate and we will encourage House members to approve it.”
Zawistowski identified one more Senate action of interest by saying “One bill we have our eye on, and will be watching in the Senate, is House Bill 175 by Representative DoVilla which attempts to codify the “Open Checkbook” iniative implemented by Ohio Treasure Josh Mandel. This effort by Mandel far exceeded our expectations as far as providing transparency for every dollar that the State of Ohio spends and we congratulate Treasure Mandel and his staff for this effort. We understand that the Governor’s office is working against the DeVitis bill in the Senate and we hope that Ohio’s Senators will vote for the people of Ohio and make sure that these type of online tools will always be available from the Ohio Treasures office.”
Zawistowski concluded by saying “We are obviously still hoping for action on the Heartbeat Bill, Common Core repeal and the American Laws for American Courts bill and will keep pushing them. All of these initiatives have overwhelming support among Ohio voters and yet special interest manage to keep our Representatives from keeping their campaign promises and acting in the best interest of the voters. I can only assure them that they should pass all of these initiative now, because we are not going away until they are passed, either by those we elected to the next House and Senate or by people we elect who will replace them in the House and Senate in 2016.”