Like I do every month, today I received my monthly update from the COAST (Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes) organization. Among other things, they enjoy providing updates of my hard work here at the County. Generally, I like the publicity.
But this month, I was mystified to read their lead article that we on the County Commission are considering raising the sales tax to deal with the current budget crisis, which is due in large part to our poor economy and some spending decisions made back in 2006 and before. Given that I have been crystal clear, in every way that I know how, and both publicly and privately, that we WILL NOT raise the sales tax (or property tax) to get through this crisis, I was surprised that these usually savvy politicos had so badly misread the tea leaves. And now, sadly, they have unnecessarily upset their loyal supporters about this issue.
They even claimed that I and Todd Portune had "float[ed] a trial balloon" about raising the sales tax, but pointed to no evidence of this. Unless they consider the consistent and unanimous statement from all three commissioners that we will NOT raise the sales tax to be a "trial balloon" for actually raising the sales tax, I have no idea what they are referring to.
Oh well. If citizens want to know what we actually are planning to do about the tough situation we are in, go to http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080702/BIZ01/807020406/1169/NEWS. (Maybe the sentence, "Commissioners refuse to raise taxes to close the gap," is the cryptic trial balloon COAST is referring to.)
You can also listen to my interview on 700 WLW on the same issue. Go to http://a1135.g.akamai.net/f/1135/18227/1h/cchannel.download.akamai.com/18227/podcast/CINCINNATI-OH/WLW-AM/WILLIE070208H1.mp3?CPROG=PCAST&MARKET=CINCINNATI-OH&NG_FORMAT=newstalk&SITE_ID=1209&STATION_ID=WLW-AM&PCAST_AUTHOR=700WLW&PCAST_CAT=Talk_Radio&PCAST_TITLE=Bill_Cunningham_On_Demand.