Editorial roundup

The Chillicothe Gazette , Feb. 27

The fatal shooting of a Danville police officer in January left several Ohio communities stunned and police officers across the state mourning.

But the pain of the death of 34-year-old Thomas Cottrell Jr. is exacerbated by word that holes in the system may have helped to create the environment in which he died…

Herschel Jones III, the man charged with killing Cottrell, was arrested on a DUI charge in September and spent three days in jail in November.

… Jones’ parole officer knew nothing of the entry when he downgraded Jones’ supervision level just days after he was accused of the DUI.

He didn’t know because when he did an annual check for arrests, he found none because Jones was not booked into a county jail when he was charged.

That meant, the only person required to notify him about the charges was Jones himself…

In the absence of a sudden burst of honesty by convicted criminals, a better system is required…

An excellent example of how this works rests in the Victim Information and Notification Everyday system… The system allows crime victims … to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders…

A revamped system that tracks all those on parole or probation and alerts … would better serve the public…

Online: http://ohne.ws/1pkRnRy

The Columbus Dispatch, Feb. 26

Politicians love programs that are frontloaded with benefits – benefits for politicians, that is…

A variation of this is when a politician announces a new program that will spend some large sum of money that allegedly will save multiple dollars tomorrow for every tax dollar spent today…

Another example of this … is the sales-tax holiday, such as the one just passed the Ohio Senate. These holidays, which temporarily excuse retailers from collecting and consumers from paying sales taxes on selected products, have the appearance of a tremendous act of generosity by the lawmakers who sponsor the legislation.

… State Sen. Kevin Bacon, R-Minerva … had hoped to make 2015’s sales-tax holiday an automatic annual event, but was persuaded simply to try to pass one for 2016…

Bacon cites a study that says Ohio enjoyed a net $4.7 million revenue gain during the three-day holiday…

But The Tax Foundation … cites studies showing that sales-tax holidays are gimmicks that offer little benefit to consumers and government coffers.

The foundation … notes that if “a state must offer a ‘holiday’ from its tax system, it is a sign that the state’s tax system is uncompetitive. If policymakers want to save money for consumers, then they should cut the sales-tax rate year-round.”

Online: http://bit.ly/1LqmHbo


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