Sunday, October 31, 2004

Issue 4 is affordable way
for city to improve

State Rep. Tom Brinkman Jr.
Mount Lookout

Issue 4 is exactly the tax cut Cincinnati needs at this time. With an average of 12 people leaving the city each day (13,000 the past three years), the lowest homeownership among major cities in Ohio - 39 percent - and an inability to effectively compete with surrounding cities including Newport and Covington, we need a tax savings to retain and attract residents and business.

Issue 4 is easily affordable. The cost to the city is less than 1 percent of its general fund, which is $2.8 million a year. Allow me to suggest a few ways Issue 4 is affordable. First, Peter Bronson's column "Spendaholics need a dose of cutting back" (Oct. 26) clearly lists how City Council has wasted millions of dollars. Just two of the items he mentions would pay for Issue 4. Second, Cincinnati is alone in performing redundant inspections and certification. Eliminating services already provided by the state would save millions more. Third, the fire and police departments would be able to have their own levy in the future instead of begging council for money and more employees. And finally, if council can keep spending at the rate of inflation, many budget problems would not exist. As the mayor recently said, "We don't have the luxury ... of spending more than what we take in." If only this had been policy for the past decade.

Issue 4 will increase homeownership, which will provide more stable neighborhoods, which in turn will have less litter and crime. Issue 4 is simply the citizens of Cincinnati taking back their city to make it more competitive.

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