The legislature has passed a state budget that includes the repeal of Ohio’s Estate Tax. Special thanks to the team at http://www.endohioestatetax.com/ for their leadership in accomplishing a feat that no liberty group before them had accomplished: the elimination of a statewide tax. In drafting the initiative and representing the effort, the 1851 Center was simply the professional scaffolding around this inspiring all-volunteer effort.
Despite openly hostile opposition (see below) from city and township government bureaucrats, who used public funds to oppose the repeal, and behind-closed-doors dismissal from elected and even conservative policy organizations, Ohio’s worst-in-the-nation Estate Tax, kicking in at just $338,000, will no longer be tearing Ohio families apart, destroying family farms, and driving business from the state.
April 4, 2011 – Use of Public Funds to Oppose Estate Tax Repeal is Unconstitutional
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law today notified the cities of Loveland, and Oakwood, Ohio that their use of public funds applied to the Council/Coalition to Protect Ohio’s Communities (CPOC) is unlawful and, if continued, will result in legal action on behalf of each city’s taxpayers.
CPOC, comprised of local governments seeking to maintain the Ohio Estate Tax, formed in response to the introduction of House Bill 3, legislation that will end the tax.
Ohio’s Estate Tax is rated the worst in the nation, and kicks in at the lowest threshold, taxing all assets above $338,000. Although it is opposed by many Ohioans, local governments formed CPOC to lobby and propagandize against estate tax repeal. Loveland and Oakwood used local taxpayer dollars to fund their participation in CPOC.
Using public funds to support CPOC’s efforts:
- Abuses “Home Rule” authority, which only lends municipalities authority to exercise powers of local self-government
- Abuses “Police Power” authority by supplying public funds to that are biased, unreasonable, and arbitrary
- Violates competitive bidding requirements due to no-bid contracts; and
- Violates the First Amendment rights of citizens by forcing taxpayers to speak in a manner with which they disagree
In letters sent to Loveland and Oakwood, 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson highlights the lack of regard for taxpayers in the cities’ actions:
“You have dedicated revenue derived from all of your residents towards taking a side in a hot-button political debate on which the two sides fervently disagree. Indeed, many of your own taxpayers, whose dollars you use to fund CPOC, have worked tirelessly to ensure the introduction of House Bill 3 into the Ohio General Assembly, and other Ohio cities and townships oppose your efforts.”
The 1851 Center requested that the cities of Loveland and Oakwood recover any public funds that have been directed to CPOC, abstain from transmitting further public funds to the group, and withdraw from the council entirely. Otherwise, the Center will bring legal action against each municipality on behalf of local taxpayers.
August, 2009 – Ballot Language Drafted
The 1851 Center drafted ballot language that was adopted by Citizens United to Eliminate Ohio’s Estate Tax for an Initiated Statute effort. If successful, the measure will eliminate the Ohio Estate Tax as of 2012. The Ohio Attorney General has approved the language and the group is now collecting the needed signatures to place the issue before the general assembly.
April 4, 2011 – 1851 Center’s Letter to City of Loveland
April 4, 2011 – 1851 Center’s Letter to City of Oakwood
April 5, 2011 – Dayton Daily News: Estate Tax Lobbying Called Illegal; Cities Disagree
700 WLW: Doc Thompson