By Dave Fisher, chairman
Miami County Democratic Party
The Miami County Commissioners lead by John O’Brien have done it again.
On June 24th, the commissioners passed the renewal of the .25 percent sales tax on the guise of paying for the 9-1-1 system.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of what is really going on, let’s look at how they did it. I would say that it was done in the dark of night but, that would not be true. It was done in the light of day when any working women or men could not get there when they held the hearings.
If the commissioners wanted input, then hold those hearings in the evening when those of us that pay the taxes could attend. Mid-morning or early afternoon lends me to believe the commissioner’s really didn’t want any input! All I have read and heard out of the commissioner’s office is the .25 percent sales tax is for 9-1-1 service.
In the last news article, commissioners Evans and Cultice touted how this tax renewal was a saving grace for the 9-1-1 service. One of my many questions is why no gleaming support from Bud O’Brien. Well maybe his record on truthfulness says it all.
Now let’s look at the numbers or should I say our hard earned tax dollars. The original .25 percent temporary sales tax has generated somewhere in the neighborhood of $14 million. According to a Dayton Daily News article dated July 9, 2009, monies generated by the temporary sale tax would pay for the 6.6 million in upgrades and operations. Just looking at that you would say, OK, the 9-1-1 is up and running and paid for!
Oh, but hold on, wise gentlemen; what the commissioner’s didn’t tell you, is that they issued bonds for the 9-1-1 service to a tune of $4.5 million on top of the sales tax increase. In which they, or should I say we, are paying a debt service on until Dec. 1, 2025.
In reality, monies available for the 9-1-1 service should be about $18.5 million. You would think that the 9-1-1 service would be more than well off. That’s where the lie begins.
News flash: it’s not all going to the 9-1-1 service. Bud O’Brien stated at the 2014 Meet the Candidate’s Night, that 3.9 million of the .25 percent sales tax went to 9-1-1 center. So where did the other approximant $14.6 million go? Right into the general fund and other funds not related to 9-1-1.
Only about one-fourth of the temporary sales tax actually went to pay for the 911 center and we have a debt service on the bonds issued until the end of the year 2025! How much more do they need? How much more are we willing to give them? We already know the Commissioner’s way over paid on no-bid contracts. Bud O’Brien also stated at the candidate’s night, that he doesn’t want to blow up the county budget by not extending the temporary .25 percent sales tax. I think the county budget needs to be blown up and looked at closely.
I happen to know the candidate that is opposing Bud O’Brien pretty well. I know he opposes the extension of the temporary sales tax. I will end with this. The commissioners put the sales tax in. The commissioners takes the sales tax out. And then they do the hokey pokey and spend it all about.
— Dave Fisher is the chairman of the Miami County Democratic Party