Ohio: Property Tax Versus Sales Tax
- Jan 18, 2012 | Susan McLain
Lake County in Ohio plans a 0.5 percent county sales tax hike in exchange for reducing some property taxes. According to County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy, “…by this action, we are shifting our tax base away from one based on property ownership to one based more on consumption.” The resulting “…net revenue increase to the county would be around $8.5 million annually.”
Measures already taken were discussed by Commissioner Raymond E. Sines, “We have shrunk county government to its present bare-bones level,” but that comes with a cost. “What we will not do, and in reality will not be able to do as a result of us combining tax cuts with tax increases, is regrow county government back to previous levels. It is important that our office holders and department heads understand that.”
By raising sales tax and lowering the property tax, the county government feels they are helping to provide some relief to their constituents while developing revenue that would be collected from more non-Lake County residents. But the reason for the sales tax increase is simple: the county is struggling.
Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap says, “…his office has reached a point where any further cuts threaten the level of services to community, its economic stability, and its safety and security.”
"We have not replaced vehicles in four years, the buildings have deteriorated, the jail is at capacity, and warrant and paper service has backed up due to an inability to handle the load," Dunlap said. "In short, there is nowhere else to cut. This sales tax is the only viable option to citizens at this time. Failure to act now will have dire consequences to Lake County at all levels."
The commissioners have held public hearings on the matter.