Press release:House GOP Lawmakers Introduce Estate Tax Reduction Act

Editor’s Note: State Rep. Hottinger is from Ohio’s 71st House District, and State Rep. Grossman is from Ohio’s 23rd House District.

COLUMBUSState Representatives Jay Hottinger (R- Newark) and Cheryl Grossman (R- Grove City) today introduced House Bill 326 that would shrink Ohio’s estate tax liability, a proposal included in “The Future of Ohio” plan introduced earlier this fall by House Republicans.

“It is time to improve Ohio’s heavy tax burden by reducing the estate tax,” Hottinger said.  “Ohioans are already handicapped by one of the highest tax rates in the country, which is shortchanging our ability to attract jobs and families. The estate tax continues to be a contributing cause of our population exodus. This legislation would encourage many Ohioans to remain in the state where they can pass on their life savings to their heirs without penalty.”

This legislation would allot all estate tax revenues to local governments by eliminating the state share, which is currently 20 percent. Municipalities and townships would have the right to exempt the estate tax within their territorial jurisdiction. The bill would also increase the state estate tax credit to $15,575 and link it with the consumer price index, effectively raising the exemption threshold to $366,250 for estates with dates of death on or after January 1, 2010.

“Ohio is one of only 23 states that still impose a death tax,” Grossman said. “What kind of messages does this send to Ohioans who have worked hard their whole lives and invested in our communities? It is important as we seek ways to improve Ohio’s economy that we ease the tax burden in any way we can, including for those families struggling with the loss of a loved one.”

Under current Ohio law, every estate is taxed at a rate ranging from 2 percent to 7 percent, and most have an initial fee assessed as well. There are six classified tax brackets ranging from taxable estates of $40,000 or less to estates worth more than $500,000. The payment of this tax is divided to provide 20 percent to state General Revenue Fund and the additional 80 percent is distributed to the local municipalities.

This bill is a key component to “The Future of Ohio” package of proposals rolled out by House Republican members last month. These economic development proposals were drawn from discussions with constituents and small business leaders across Ohio.  The initiatives would come at a minimal cost to taxpayers, with long-term job creation, economic stimulus, and far greater revenue in state income than costs.  Jobs created by these proposals would have a multiplier effect on the economy by increasing tax revenues for state and local government.

Guest blog: Brandon Rutherford, Democrat, Elyria 4th Ward city council candidate

Editor’s Note:  Brandon Rutherford is the Democrat candidate for the 4th Ward seat on Elyria’s city council.  Feel free to visit his campaign website.  Election Day is November 3rd, and the early voting period has already begun.  Buckeye RINO endorses Brandon Rutherford for the Elyria 4th Ward seat.

Hello, I first wanted to offer Dan an apology for not getting this to him faster. I have been busy working on my campaign as well as family life and college classes.

Let me start off by telling you why I felt the need to run for 4th ward city council in Elyria. It’s of no shock to anyone that times in Ohio are tough. Jobs are leaving the state by the hundreds. Our kids are going to school getting their degrees and high-tailing it out of here on the first plane to South Carolina or Georgia. Home sales, like elsewhere, are horrid. We had in Elyria; one gentleman bought two properties for $9,000. Both had houses that were perfectly fine.

I am a block watch captain here in Elyria where I manage my block watch and have help start other blockwatches in Elyria. I have also created and held events called Take Back Elyria which Dan has commented on here on this blog. Take Back Elyria is modeled off of the Take Back the Night events where residents would come together and learn how to better protect themselves. My events bring many different resources together such as self-defense hand to hand combat, conceal and carry, Child ID and much more.

I consider myself a “out of the box” thinker. And with that being said I am going to layout for you my plan for not just the 4th ward but the city. The following is what I will be working to get in place and running, if elected to city council. Some of these aspects will cost residents very minimal, if any tax dollars. After each proposal, I will explain how the proposal will be paid for providing accountability on my part.

Small Business Incubator- Small Business in Lorain County let alone Northeast Ohio is fierce and we need to be at the top of our game concerning efforts to get in Elyria. I want to create a Small Business Incubator (Which is part of the Elyria 2015 plan) In terms of resources we have the two greatest resources around in LCCC and the Great Lakes Building where they specialize in entrepreneurship classes. I, metaphorically speaking, envision a box with a big red bow on it that inside would have all of the resources anyone would want that is interested in starting a business in Elyria.

How much and where would it come from? The great thing about this is it would only cost people time and a bit of money putting together copies of laws and useful information that they should have. You might think that business owners should take that responsibility themselves to get that info, and to a point I think you’re right.

Resident Appreciation Day- Resident Appreciation Days (RAD) should either be a ward event or a city wide event. If it was to just be a ward event and others didn’t want to take part in the event then I would gladly hold the first one on Hill Top Park. Block watches of the 4th ward would be on hand to offer advice and allow residents that might not know that they exist to sign up and begin attending meetings. The mayor and at-large city council members would be invited. However, not only will this be an event where residents would get to talk to the mayor and the at-large council members it would get people out and talking with their friends and neighbors. Elyria is a great city and I feel we need to create that sense of pride and desire to want to live in Elyria. Most of us do enjoy living here and plan to stay here for many years to come, however, I feel by having an event geared towards the residents it lets them know that the elected officials appreciate their devotion to our great city. Ward meetings aside from the RAD days would still continue as well.
How much and where would it come from? It wouldn’t cost the residents anything. All items including food and entertainment (DJ, etc.. ) will be donated by either the elected official(s) or area businesses. If donations couldn’t be had anywhere I would just pay for the event myself.

Small Business Appreciation Day– This would be similar to the Residential Appreciation Day where we would reach out the Small Businesses that have chosen to move to Elyria to start their businesses. We would incorporate important key resources that could help grow businesses by either a line of credit from a bank or networking with another area business to learn of a new and possible cost saving measure. This will also be a kick-off to a “Buy Elyria Concept”. Long have we kept beating the drum of people trying to have Elyria companies buy products from other Elyria companies. This campaign will be held by volunteers that of small businesses owners that want to see Elyria revive itself and become stronger.

How much and where would it come from? This event wouldn’t cost the residents anything and would only take time to plan and organize and other items that might be needed could be donated or purchased by non-tax payer dollars. If donations couldn’t be had anywhere I would just pay for the event myself as well. That is how important I feel this issue is.

Community Gardens– These gardens will provide more than just food for the neighbors of the it will provide a real sense of pride and ownership which will help our city grow. The gardens are already popping up all over the city but I’d like to see more pop up on personal property. We are currently working on networking connections and get certain pieces in place to make putting a garden together in town a snap.

How much and where would it come from? Nothing. The gardens would be on personal property thereby avoiding the city mandated liability insurance. That is unless the city would be willing to start the garden themselves much like as they are doing in Lorain that way residents wouldn’t have to carry the liability insurance because it would be covered by the cities insurance.
I would still strongly urge council to allow residents to use city land to do a community gardens because of the positive effects it has in that neighborhood. The liability would be on the city either way even if residents did pay the already required fee for insurance that the city requires residents to have. Cascade/Furnace Street has had their garden up for months and no on has been sick or got hurt while tending to the gardens.

City Wide Recycling program- This program would be looking at ways to save money at the cities bottom line. Lets look at the city buildings whether it is the EPD, EFD City Hall, City Garage or anywhere else. If the city were to recycle all of the paper not only would it be a “green” thing to do it would also cut down on the amount of times that the dumpster has to be dumped thereby cutting costs. We could also instead of putting paper into the big green dumpsters we could compile the paper and shred it and use it in the Community Gardens.

I hope that through these efforts you will see that Elyria will be on the forefront of the battle to get jobs back into Lorain County and Northeast Ohio.

The plan, although still in action, I have been introducing myself to the resident of the 4th ward for the past several months. I have walked the ward thus far 3 times and had many, many great conversations with voters where we discussed the issues facing our city. I believe in getting out there and meeting your constituents and letting them know who will be representing them. Voters are not naïve and they don’t like being treated like you can just feed them political gorgon and get elected. They want and deserve answers and should get the respect they deserve. We as residents should ask for accountability from all of our elected officials.

Together we will move our cities forward,

Brandon Rutherford

Guest blog: Phil Van Treuren, candidate, Amherst City Council at-Large

Editor’s Note:  Phil Van Treuren, a former journalist, political consultant and soldier, is a candidate for Amherst City Council at-Large.  You can visit his campaign website at

I’m very grateful to Dan for inviting me to write a guest post here on Buckeye RINO about my campaign for Amherst City Council at-Large.  I wish I could dedicate more resources to making this a better post, but spare time is hard to come by during the final weeks of election season (as I’m sure many of you know).

The campaign itself is progressing better than I ever hoped it would.  I’m a big believer in putting together a concrete plan early in the game and sticking to it, and the road map we created late last year has served us well.  My hopes were to hit the whole city three times in 2009; I’m now on my fourth time around.  I’ve knocked on about 4,000 doors, shaken more than 2,000 hands, made more than 1,000 phone calls, and hand-written personal cards to about 3,500 voters.  That last task took me six months to complete and left me with a permanent callous on a finger, but it’s all been worth it.

I’ve spent plenty of time working on dozens of campaigns over the last decade, and here’s the most important thing I learned: nothing substitutes for hard work.  The more difficult something is in a campaign, the better it works.  Going door-to-door for months on end isn’t easy, but there’s no better way to introduce yourself to the voters.

Knocking on the doors of people who you know are members of a different political party might be tough, but it earns you respect.  Don’t worry: the vast majority of people who disagree with you are still going to be polite.  If you get a flier thrown back in your face, thank them for their time and move on to the next door.

In the end, that isn’t just a good philosophy to follow when you’re campaigning; it’s also sound advice for life in general.  You’re going to come across plenty of negative people, but they don’t get to decide whether or not you have a good day.  You’re the only one who determines how you’re going to react.  If you get upset and let it throw you off your game, then it’s no one’s fault but your own.

Want to know another secret I learned in the campaign gutters over the years?  Winners don’t always win.  Some of the most successful politicians in the world had to lose several times before they were ever elected.  Abraham Lincoln was one of them, I think, and there are plenty of local and national examples to find today, too.  If you’ve made the decision to help people through elected office, then you’re almost certainly going to get beat at the polls someday.

Deal with it.  Running for office isn’t always fun; it’s also tiring, stressful and at times heartbreaking.  But if you’re really committed to helping people, you’ll get back on that horse whenever it bucks you to the ground.  There’s only one characteristic that every great person has in common: determination.

As for the Amherst City Council at-Large race, I’m not making any predictions.  I’ve met the other candidates, and they’re all great guys.  Amherst is going to have three at-large councilmen who care about our city regardless of who wins.

Whatever the outcome is, I’m going to be very proud of what we did during this campaign.  And in the end, that should be every candidate’s goal: to be proud of what you’ve done.

Press release from leadership of Ohio House Republican caucus concerning Issue 3

Editor’s note:  This press release was issued on October 8th.  The proponents of Issue 3 have deflected criticisms of the specific language of the proposed Constitutional amendment by giving the impression that the Ohio General Assembly has the ability to correct whatever flaws may exist in its wording.  The Ohio General Assembly has no such power to override the Constitution, as set forth in this press release.  The only check and balance against the flaws of Issue 3 is held by the people, and can only be exercised by way of voting NO.  Election Day is November 3rd, and early voting has already begun.  Please vote NO on Issue 3.

Republican Leaders Question Issue 3 Tax Analysis

COLUMBUS – Ohio House Republican Leader William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) and Assistant Republican Leader Louis W. Blessing (R-Cincinnati) today stated in a letter to The Office of Budget and Management and The Ohio Department of Taxation their desire for a change in the tax and expenditure analysis created for Issue 3 on the November ballot.

In their letter, they outlined that the current analysis assumes legislative authority from the General Assembly and tax estimates that are not guaranteed by the language of the amendment.  Batchelder and Blessing express concern over the definitions of “Gross casino revenue,” and “Casino gaming” in regards to cash wagering. Highlights of the letter are as follows:

“Your assumption is that the General Assembly would pass a statute expanding the tax base to include cash wagering.  Whether the General Assembly would do that at all is highly speculative.  More importantly, the General Assembly has no authority whatsoever to contradict, rescind, repeal or override a provision of the Ohio Constitution…

It is well settled that the General Assembly can pass legislation which implements and complements constitutional provisions.  However, your assumption relative to the projected tax revenue is far different than that.  You are assuming that the General Assembly can substantially amend, and in fact repeal certain of the constitutional provisions as set out above.  We do not believe the General Assembly has that power…

The question is simple:  ‘Does the General Assembly have the power to revoke, contradict, repeal or override a provision of the Ohio Constitution?’…

We know that you share our interest in providing voters accurate and evidence-based projections.  It is our hope and request that you revise your analysis promptly so that all Ohioans may benefit from the accurate evaluation of the proposed amendment.”

State rep Dennis Murray opposes Issue 3, but introduces his own casino bill

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Dennis Murray (D-80) has introduced a casino bill in the Ohio House of Representatives to legalize up to 15 casinos in Ohio.

This is yet another example of ethically-challenged politicians helping themselves to more campaign funds while allowing casinos to cannibalize whatever’s left of Ohio’s ruined economy. Haven’t we, Ohio voters, figured out yet that Ohio’s politicians don’t care one eensy-weensy bit about our pocketbooks? Neither Republican majorities nor Democrat majorities in our state capitol have made any economic sense for our state in recent months and years.

There were several reasons why I endorsed Murray’s opponent for state rep last year, not least of which was the fact that it’s no secret that the Murray and Murray law firm attempted to help Sandusky’s Sortino family to own and operate a casino in Erie County.  Do you think we can guess who Murray might look to for campaign donations?

As a Sandusky City Commissioner prior to his election to the state rep job, Dennis Murray was also among the good old boys who put the smackdown on Kim Nuesse, Sandusky’s police chief.

I agree with Murray that Issue 3 deserves a NO vote, but, apparently, we don’t see eye-to-eye on much else.

I have to give props to the Erie County Commissioners for turning down the Daly’s Pub gambling proposal.  I think Erie County Commissioner Bill Monaghan might have some good advice for Dennis Murray when it comes to gambling.  In the meantime, as long as Murray makes no effort to mend his ways, I will continue to support his opponents.  So far, Sandusky school board member Jeff Krabill has announced his candidacy for the 80th Ohio House district in 2010.  All of Erie County and most of Ottawa County lies within the 80th district.

State rep Terry Boose press release: Farmers may see property taxes go up

Editor’s note: State Rep Terry Boose (R-Norwalk) represents the 58th Ohio House district, which includes Huron county and significant portions of Lorain and Seneca Counties.

This year farmers in Huron and Lorain Counties will see their CAUV values on their property taxes adjusted.  By law County Auditors are required to reappraise every parcel of land in the county every six years and do an update every three years.  I want to take this opportunity to inform the public about this update and present some facts about the CAUV program since property taxes have a direct effect on the profits of farmers and the food prices for working families.

This year there are 18 other Ohio counties who will be updating their land values in addition to Huron County.  Many farmers will be shocked when they discover the 2009 values.   Depending on the soil type, some values have increased several hundred percent over the values of the last update. The person who is responsible for setting the CAUV values is the Tax Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor and makes his recommendations based on the recommendation of an advisory committee.  The General Assembly does not determine CAUV values.


According to Ohio Administrative Code 5703-25-32, each year an agricultural advisory committee meets to advise the Ohio Tax Commissioner on and other current developments that might be considered in the determination of agricultural land values.  This committee is not to be confused with the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, of which I am a member.  This is a separate committee that includes representatives of the agricultural industry with key groups such as the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation on the panel.

This committee reviews “the various factors considered in arriving at agricultural land use values” and evaluates “new developments in order to make a recommendation to the commissioner” to be used in valuing agricultural use land for the next tax year.

The CAUV is written into the Ohio Constitution to ensure land used for agricultural production was valued and taxed based on capitalizing the land’s net farm income rather than its current fair market value.  This program was designed to protect farmers from inflated land prices brought on by land developers.

I oppose high taxes, and believe that tax rate increases are not the answer to our problems during this tough economy.  I oppose the Governor’s proposed income tax increase which would hurt not only farmers but all Ohio families.  And I believe that high taxes on farmland hurt not only farmers but everyone through higher food prices.

Without a constitutional amendment, the Ohio Legislature is unable to protect against increases in CAUV taxes due to limitations by the Ohio Constitution.  I am currently researching possible solutions to these skyrocketing taxes.  As your Representative I will continue to seek ways to protect your livelihood and Ohio’s top industry while controlling skyrocketing taxes that affect farmers and consumers alike.

Those who are affected by the adjustment of the CAUV are encouraged to come to my Town Hall meeting in Norwalk on Wednesday 21st 2009 at the Norwalk High School Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center starting at 7:30 pm.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your State Representative.  I encourage you contact my office if you have any further questions or comments on this or other issues important to the 58th House District at 614-466-9628.

[UPDATE] Coming up this month

Mark your calendars!  Oct. 12, Candidates Night in Oberlin; Oct. 14, CHIP Candidates Night in Lorain;  Oct. 21, Town Hall with State Rep Terry Boose in Norwalk; Oct. 22, Candidates Night in Huron; Oct 25, Chris Ritchey fundraiser to fight Hodgkins Lymphoma in Lorain; Oct. 29, Town Hall with State Rep Terry Boose in Kipton; Nov. 3, Election Day (early voting has already begun).

First Church in Oberlin, on Monday, October 12th, will host a candidates night for 13 Oberlin City Council candidates, and 4 Oberlin school board candidates on Monday, October 12.  Reception begins at 6:30 pm, and the forum begins at 7 pm.  First Church is located at 106 N. Main St.

Lorain’s Coalition for Hispanic Issues and Progress (CHIP) will host its 7th annual candidates night on October 14th in the Gould Auditorium within the St. Joseph’s Community Center at 20th and Broadway in Lorain.  Doors open at 6 pm, with the forum commencing about a half-hour later.  David Arredondo is the contact person for this event (440) 315-7812.  This event provides an excellent opportunity to see and hear the candidates who will be on the local ballot in Lorain.

[UPDATE:  This represents a change to the town hall schedule for Norwalk]  State Rep Terry Boose (R-58) has made a concerted effort to meet voters of his Ohio House district over the past 3 months.  Two town hall meetings remain on the schedule:  October 21st at 7:30 pm in the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center within Norwalk High School at 350 Shady Lane Dr. in Norwalk; and October 29th at 7 pm at the Kipton Village Hall, 299 State St. in Kipton.

At McCormick School in Huron, the Huron Public Library and Huron Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a candidates night that begins at 7 pm on October 22nd.  Eight city council candidates (Sam Artino, Joel Bickley, Russell Critelli, Richard Hardy, Brad Hartung, Marilyn Shearer, Nancy Thornhill, Phyllis Wassner and Richard Wennes) have been invited to participate.

A fundraiser to help Chris Ritchey fight Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is scheduled for October 25th from 1 pm to 5 pm at Rosewood Place, 4493 Oberlin Avenue in Lorain.  A spaghetti dinner will be served.  Admission is $15 per person (children under 5 years old eat free).  If you can’t make it to the event, but would like to donate to help defray Mr. Ritchey’s medical expenses, a fund has been established at First Federal Savings & Loan of Lorain, 3721 Oberlin Avenue, Lorain, Ohio 44053 (make checks payable to: Friends of Chris Ritchey).  Tickets for the event can be obtained in several ways.  In person, tickets can be obtained at Jenkins and Bevans Insurance, 47375 Cooper Foster Park Road, Amherst 44001; or at Marsha Funk State Farm Insurance, 3004 Oberlin Ave., Lorain 44052.  By phone, tickets can be requested by calling Nikki (440) 282-3195 or  Rich (440) 245-8752 or (440) 989-5141.  Chris Ritchey is the son of Loraine Ritchey, blog author of That Woman’s Weblog (listed in my blogroll sidebar), and, besides her numerous blog entries about Lorain history and government, she shares information about the battle Chris has waged against Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Election Day is November 3.  Though it’s not hyped as much as a presidential election, please don’t sit out this election.  I urge votes against Issue 3 that would amend Ohio’s Constitution to allow an out-of-state casino cartel to plunder Ohio’s economy (what there is left of the economy) while throwing free market principles out the window.  Cleveland’s Plain Dealer continues to reveal Republican and Democrat insiders and entrenched politicians, who have WRECKED Ohio’s economy through their corruption and selfish pay-to-play tactics, who support Issue 3.  Gambling support from crooked politicians of both political parties should warn you that Issue 3 doesn’t pass the smell test.