For the past three years Ohio has had issues with state funding the various things it funds from schools, to roads, to social service agencies.
Hancock county social service providers held a forum on May 11th and invited the county’s two state representatives. The events at the meeting were published in The Courier on May 18th (Agencies plead for state funding)
State Rep. Mike Gilb and State Sen. Lynn Wachtmann attended the meeting but I could not help but think from reading the text of the article published in the Courier that both elected officials weren’t listening and held on to their tired “too much spending” mantra.
The providers asked the two men not to support cuts in the state funding they need to help the people in Hancock county who need the help.
Gilb said: “but neither I nor the senator have proposed cutting them.” They just wouldn’t support any increase in funding.
But I need to point out that not increasing funding to meet the increasing costs of providing the services is the same as cutting the funding.
But then Wachtmann turns logic on its ear when he said: “We cannot afford to continue to drive jobs out of Ohio by raising taxes.” and then he stated he would be against increasing the financial burden on businesses that are trying to provide insurance that pays for alcohol, drug, and mental illness treatments.
A simple look at the facts prove both Gilb and Wachtmann wrong in their reasoning.
Business’ don’t have an unfair burden of supporting social services. A majority of funding comes from private donations, the state, and from levies passed in the local communities. Rarely has an ADAMHS levy been turned down at the polls. Obviously a majority consistently feels that such services are important.
Meanwhile the business inventory tax is being phased out, utility poll taxes were eliminated sometime ago, 81% of Ohio companies pay no more than $2000 a year in income tax, you are more likely to see tax breaks given to businesses for negligible requirements on their part, and Workers compensation taxes have been quite low for several years. I think businesses can afford to provide better mental insurance coverage for their workers.
Yet, ignoring those facts, Wachtmann said the state could trim expenses in other areas — like eliminating collective bargaining agreements with teachers’ unions. Why he wants to pit a group (who is on the low end of the income scale and who have little enough to give up in the first place) against another group in need of community help is anyone’s guess.
How about state legislators and other state elected officials taking a pay cut. That would allow for more funding for social service agencies. Or just increasing business taxes a few percentage points.
I think it is in the community’s best interests to see that those not able to afford it, get as much help as possible and the state plays a part as well.
One really has to ask if Wachtmann, and somewhat Gilb, is playing with a full deck. Have they become so detached from the community they were elected to serve that their decisions and actions have grown suspect? I think they have.
Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”