The Press article on the referred to () Lt. Jeff Moore saying that the state took away the estate tax. FACT: The State did not eliminate the estate tax. The estate tax was eliminated by an overwhelming vote of Ohio voters in 2010. Message: voters are tired of over taxation!
Elimination of local government subsidies was necessary to balance the state budget and should not have come as a surprise to Council. It's not news that we have been in a tough economic environment for several years now. Like it or not, Gov Kasich's administration warned that these cuts were coming. If the State has to cut them, local governments must act responsibly and make the tough decisions on behalf of taxpayers to reduce spending and cut the size of government. City government has no entitlement to be exempt from the belt tightening that the state and taxpayers must accept.
I also want to strongly object to the use of threats of EMS staff reductions to scare Avon Lake residents, especially the elderly. I recall at a Council meeting, Mr. Meiners' comment that the people of Avon Lake would accept a EMS levy increase if it was presented in the right way. I assume he was referring to these threats of layoffs and scare tactics. The fact is that EMS finances are misrepresented. How many Avon Lake residents know that their health insurance claim payments, almost $400,000, for EMS ambulance service do not pay for EMS expenses but rather are allocated to the General Fund?
I urge you to drop the threats and scare tactics to goad citizens to pay more and more to subsidize budget deficits. It's time to put Avon Lake taxpayers ahead of the wishful aspirations of Avon Lake government. If you are so concerned about sustaining EMS services I believe it is your responsibility start using that almost $400,000 of EMS ambulance revenues to assure the continuance of the fine EMS services. Cancel the August vote and save taxpayers $30,000 for a more reasoned proposal in November.
Michael D. Hellyar