October 23, 2014

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FitzGerald: Middle class, poor left behind

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald speaks to an intimate crowd about the impact of cuts in state taxpayer to Lorain County during his stop at the Lorain County Democratic Party headquarters in Lorain Sunday afternoon. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald speaks to an intimate crowd about the impact of cuts in state taxpayer to Lorain County during his stop at the Lorain County Democratic Party headquarters in Lorain Sunday afternoon. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald on Sunday accused Republican Gov. John Kasich of balancing the budget on the backs of local governments.

Analyzing state statistics, One Ohio Now, a liberal policy group, estimates local governments and schools have lost $1.86 billion in state taxpayer aid between the 2010-11 fiscal year and 2014-15. That works out to $1.5 billion to cities and counties and $349 million to schools. Lorain County lost $48.4 million — $33.8 million to local governments and $14.6 million to schools, the policy group said.

FitzGerald noted Ohio governors are constitutionally mandated to balance budgets, but said the cuts to localities were unprecedented. He said the cuts have resulted in layoffs to firefighters, police and teachers and meant fewer social services and infrastructure improvements such as road resurfacing.

FitzGerald said the average citizen may not think much about state budgets, but the cuts affect families. “These things matter,” FitzGerald told about 30 supporters at Lorain County Democratic Party headquarters.

FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive and a former Lakewood mayor, prosecutor and FBI agent, said government should be helping the middle class and poor. He said Kasich’s concern is the rich.

FitzGerald cited Kasich’s income tax cuts and sales tax increases. Analyzing state statistics, Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal group affiliated with One Ohio Now, said the wealthiest 1 percent of Ohioans, who earned at least $335,000 annually in 2012, received about a $6,000 annual tax cut in the first Kasich budget. Those earning between $33,000 and $50,000 annually received a $5 annual tax cut, while those earning less than $33,000 earned a $24 tax cut, Policy Matters Ohio said.

Ohio’s sales tax increased from 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent in September. Many economists see sales taxes as regressive because unlike income taxes, the rich and poor pay the same percentage.

FitzGerald said Kasich lied when he said he hasn’t raised taxes to balance the budget. “It never gets true no matter how many times he repeats it,” FitzGerald said.

Ohio Republican Party and Kasich campaign spokesman Chris Schrimpf, reached by phone after the FitzGerald appearance, said cuts to localities and the sales tax hikes have been offset by job creation. Citing federal Bureau of Labor statistics, Schrimpf said 263,000 jobs have been created in Ohio between January 2011 when Kasich took office and the end of June.

While county and city officials and school superintendents have complained about the cuts causing layoffs, service cuts and more levies, Schrimpf said job creation is creating “record” revenue and surpluses statewide.

“There’s never been more money going to schools and local governments,” he said. “Most of them are seeing increasing revenue, far beyond what they saw a couple of years ago.”

Not in Elyria, said Elyria Councilman Marcus Madison, D-5th Ward, who attended the FitzGerald appearance. Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda is seeking a 0.25 percent local income tax increase in November to fill a $2 million projected deficit due to less state money, Finance Director Ted Pileski said earlier this month.

“Local government (funding) is so critical to the work we do here in Lorain County,” said Madison, who is opposing state Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, in November. “Over the past four years, Gov. Kasich’s cuts have forced local taxes up.”

FitzGerald’s comments were echoed by state Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, opposing County Republican Commissioner Tom Williams, and by Brendan Mackin, a Democratic state representative candidate from Avon Lake opposing Republican Nathan Manning, of North Ridgeville. Nathan Manning is the son of Sen. Manning.

Schrimpf said FitzGerald would raise income taxes if elected, which FitzGerald denied after the event. FitzGerald said he would restore local aid by running government more efficiently, pointing to Cuyahoga County, which he said has the largest surplus of any county in Ohio.

Schrimpf said FitzGerald’s latest budget doesn’t balance and noted Standard & Poors downgraded Cuyahoga County’s municipal bond rating in October. Bond ratings determine municipal borrowing rates. The downgrade was due to a population decline, not fiscal management, the Plain Dealer reported.

While Schrimpf questioned FitzGerald’s financial acumen, FitzGerald drew praise from supporters like Charles Pervo, of Avon Lake. Pervo said FitzGerald’s background in local and county government makes him more qualified than Kasich, a former congressman, Wall Street banker and Fox News host. “Ed has come up from the places where the rubber meets the road,” Pervo said.

Kasich had about $9.3 million in campaign cash on hand as of his last campaign filing, compared to about $1.9 million for FitzGerald. FitzGerald said he’s undeterred by Kasich having about 4.5 times as much money as he does. FitzGerald noted he was only one percentage point behind Kasich in a Public Policy Polling poll earlier this month.

“We have the truth on our side,” FitzGerald said. “We have the issues on our side and we have the people on our side.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 oregoodenow@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter at @egoodenowct.


  • Mark B

    Sure let vote for this guy so he can give all the lazy union workers a raise without any increase in service .

  • LookBackTwo

    So then his plan is to raise state income tax to restore distributing the money where he sees fit? Tax money is still tax money, but is better controlled at the local level. I’m no Kasich fan by a long shot, but this guy is just another tax and spend democrat!

  • Pablo Jones

    Elyria school’s spending per student has gone from $4000 in the early 90′s to nearly $12,000. The funding coming from the state has been steady after the initial decrease that occurred when Strickland (D) was governor. Elyria’s enrollment has steadily decreased yet they want more money for the schools.

    Elyria has increased wages and compensation more in the last 4 years than what was cut from the state funding. Maybe the school should reevaluate the way they handle step increases and raises.

  • todd

    “Many economists see sales taxes as regressive because unlike income taxes, the rich and poor pay the same percentage.”
    This comment is irresponsible and pathetic. Are we talking about the same economists who told me in college that NAFTA wouldn’t hurt the manufactory industry in US? We all know how that ended.
    What’s wrong with rich and poor black red and white all paying the same percentage? Reread I said percentage not amount.

    • SniperFire

      Welcome to the Leftist Rag world of the post-Cooper Hudnutt C-T.

      • Sis Delish

        Catering to the “Young” Crowd?

        • SniperFire

          …speaking of communists.

        • Air and Light

          “Catering” hahahaha Oh my.

    • Scout

      It should always be about percentage. But the arguement is the one making 10,000 would have to pay 1000 and that only leaves 9000. Now someone making 100,000 having to pay 10,000 leaves them with 90,000-that seems like a lot more money in their pocket according to some people…oh wait the one making 10,000 isn’t paying taxes and gets earned income credit and several other ‘entitlements’. Why are they complaining???

      • Joe Smith

        And the one making 10 grand usually does not put in the effort of the one making 100 grand

        • Scout

          Yes.

  • Sis Delish

    Same ole’, same ole’ Song. And, the audience… probably all hung-over from Roverfest.

    The C-T got its endorsement in for Marcus, Macklin and Matt. Now THAT’s reporting!

    • Air and Light

      Bet the diners slow lately, isn’t it. Wonder why ?

  • SniperFire

    ‘Analyzing state statistics, One Ohio Now, a liberal policy group, estimates ‘

    They are lying, Evan. Then again, you know that.

    • JoyceEarly

      Evan also lies so he’s in good company!

  • SniperFire

    ‘SHEFFIELD TWP. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald on Sunday accused Republican Gov. John Kasich of balancing the budget on the backs of local governments.’

    Amazing how communist the Left has become to think this is a bad thing.

    • Pablo Jones

      The Democratic strong holds are usually the places that have driven high earners and businesses away. So they are running out of money to give raises to the government employees that elect them. And with them if they don’t get their raises they will nominate the first person that will say they will give them raises.

      They are actually smart enough to realize that it doesn’t matter how much they raise local taxes, there isn’t enough people working to generate additional income. They need outside sources of money to make up for their incompetence.

  • SniperFire

    Show of hands.

    Who, after reading this article, would believe that Ohio now spends more money on schools than at any time in our history?

  • HankKwah

    Analyzing state statistics, One Ohio Now, a liberal policy group,

    Well, at least we can be confident there’s no agenda here.

    ———————
    FitzGerald noted Ohio governors are constitutionally mandated to balance budgets….

    Yet his party in Washington hasn’t submitted one since his POS president took office. Only the dems can get away with this?

    ———————
    FitzGerald said he would restore local aid by running government more efficiently,

    He can’t even select a decent running-mate for the governor’s race. Both have had personal issues that caused them to be dropped.

    ———————
    Standard & Poors downgraded Cuyahoga County’s municipal bond rating in October.

    Sure, so let him run Ohio into ruin. Brilliant.

    ———————

    This guy is a joke. “We have the truth on our side,” FitzGerald said. “We have the issues on our side and we have the people on our side.”

    If ever there was a pathetic excuse for a politician, it’s him.

    • tickmeoff

      Neither did your President balance a budget either. We could listen to you or faux news,same thing.

      • HankKwah

        I see your stupidity knows no bounds. Congress is responsible for the budgets. I thought you drowned in the koolaid a long time ago. Too bad. Can’t tell any difference, you’ve been brain dead since you came here.

        • tickmeoff

          I see I struck a nerve. People who throw insults do it, because they have no argument or are overwhelmed. May god bless you, and help you comprehend. Have a good day Hank.

          • HankKwah

            LMAO “no argument or are overwhelmed”? Hardly. I told you why you were wrong, and you STILL don’t get it?

            You should be so lucky to strike a nerve. I just can’t stand stupid people. And you’re a pro at it. So, consider that your compliment of the day, rather than an insult. Frustrated people throw insults, too, when they’re tired of stupid people’s BS. You were long overdue for that compliment. Hope your day brings you more intelligence. Don’t hold it against me when I say it’ll never happen.

  • Fred Garvin

    How he was voted as county exec. is beyond me. There were better candidates. Edmund never finished a term before moving on to something else. Governor is just a stepping stone for him. He is not qualified for Governor and I doubt he has a chance to win.

    • Scout

      Oh definitely his eye is on Washington DC

  • bpbatista

    Same old tax & spend Liberal/Progressive. If you think all of our problems can be solved by giving more of your hard earned money to the same people who cavorted with Jimmy Dimora and Frank Russo, and who run the VA and brought us ObamaCare, then you are stuck on stupid.

  • SniperFire

    Just read this from a C-T story on the death of Cooper Hudnutt. It is a quote from the now Editor-n-Chief Andrew Young:

    ‘In doing this, Young said Hudnutt never strayed far from his vision, one that reflected his grandfather’s ideals — that a community newspaper should publish the news uncolored, unbiased and as accurately as humanly possible.’

    The most uncolored, unbiased and accurate reporting as humanly possible, eh, Mr. Young?

    Laughable.

    • Mark B

      The Media and journalism used to be a tool to keep everyone honest , but now it is only used to support the Left’s agendas.

      • Scout

        Or to brainwash.

    • JoyceEarly

      Wow what a joke, the CT has never been uncolored, unbiased and accurate, who are they kidding.

  • Simon Jester

    More class warfare BS.

    Fitzgerald is a populist that will say anything to get elected.

  • bigmacky

    keep on taxing – pretty soon it will be the poor and the rich only – raise the fast food minimum wage to $15? then I want an $8 per hour raise as well just to keep up with the bills and goods that will RISE accordingly – economics dictate it

  • SniperFire

    ‘“There’s never been more money going to schools and local governments,” he said. “Most of them are seeing increasing revenue, far beyond what they saw a couple of years ago.”

    Not in Elyria, said Elyria Councilman Marcus Madison, D-5th Ward, who attended the FitzGerald appearance.’

    So tell us, Mr. Goodenow. Is this politician lying, or is Elyria receiving more money from the State to its schools and local government than just a couple of years ago?

    Should be an easy thing for a journalist to fact check, is it not?

    Is Marcus Madison lying about the facts, or not, Mr. Goodenow?

    • Mark B

      In his eyes the middle class is the Union workers making 75K a year , but yet it is those with the mean income of 35k that ends up paying all the taxes so the 75K bunch can continue to get raises.

    • Pablo Jones

      Tax revenue from the state peaked in 2008-09 at roughly $40 million. Since then it is down slightly to $38-39 million, but still above where it was in 2007-08. Since then student enrollment has dropped from about 7,300 to 6,600. With that State revenue per student is actually the highest it has been.

      http://ode.legislature.state.oh.us/chart.php?district=43943&report_type=total_operating_revenue

  • golfingirl

    The headline reads:

    “FitzGerald: Middle class, poor left behind”

    How about this for a headline….

    “Ohio’s hardworking taxpayers tired of paying for lazy sandbaggers”

    He targets the low information voters and the ones with their hands out. The ones who have no “skin in the game.”

  • Exposing Trolls

    Majority rules, that means that if someone gets more votes, they win.
    How is it the GOP Gang does not get that.
    “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.”
    Nor will that get you votes, so keep up the good work pushing anyone and everyone away with your rants, love to help in any way I can.

    • Sis Delish

      “Love to help in any way I can.”
      With My 2,376 votes vs. your 79 votes, I win.

      Thank you for Playing, now abide by your playground rules and disappear–you are pushing everyone away with your rants.

  • golfingirl

    Ahhhhh….Charlie Pervo, Vice Chair of Avon Lake Democrats.

    Charlie is also the president of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

    Says it all…….

  • John Davidson

    If you are willing to tell us about the $6000 tax cut the wealthy taxpayers got, don’t forget to tell us how much the pay in taxes. Rather a large number I would think.

  • golfingirl

    Let’s do some simple math using the 2013 Ohio Tax Rates:

    Adjusted Income = $335,000, you pay $15,529.20 in Ohio State Income Tax.

    Adjusted Income = $33,000, you pay $727.18 in Ohio State Income Tax.

    And this was after the tax cut!

    So, the high wage earner pays over 21 times the low wage earner in state taxes, but makes only 10 times as much money.

    So how is this fair? You want the tax cuts to be equal, make the taxes paid equal first.

    Hmmmm….I think we need even more tax cuts for the high wage earner to make it fair for all.

    The facts are in the numbers.

  • Conservator440

    When we see what democrats have done to the nation, why would anyone with even a scintilla of reason or sense put democrats in charge of anything more than a car wash?