State Issue 1: Argument AGAINST

Issue 1 is not about jobs; it’s about long-term debt. PASSAGE OF THIS AMMENDMENT WILL ELIMINATE FOUR TAXPAYER PROTECTIONS IN THE OHIO CONSTITUTION, including prohibitions against government:

  • Spending tax revenue for uses other than the originally levied purpose;
  • Incurring or renewing bond indebtedness in the absence of a legislative plan to collect enough tax revenue to pay the annual interest and to provide a fund for the redemption of bonds;
  • Engaging in joint ventures with, or lending aid and credit, to private entities; and
  • Entering into debt for an internal improvement.

Issue 1 combines three issues with the expressed purpose of securing statewide support for Governor Taft’s failed Third Frontier Initiative for research and development. Voters will not have the opportunity to vote separately on the following debt proposals:

  1. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT/THIRD FRONTIER: On the recommendation of out-of-state reviewers, a three-member governor-appointed committee will create unfair competitive advantage by doling out $500 million in corporate subsidies.
  2. PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE: The issuance of $1.35 billion in bonds is premature since $240 million from the previous infrastructure initiative hasn’t been exhausted and new bonds are not expected to be issued until December 2009. Voting NO will not jeopardize local projects for roads, bridges, or water treatment facilities.
  3. SITE/FACILITY DEVELOPMENT: Taxpayers will pay $150 million for the development of private industrial and business sites. In light of the recent Supreme Court eminent domain ruling, it is important to know that Issue 1 does NOT override the home rule authority that permits municipalities to take private property for economic development.

Issue 1 is a bold attempt to bypass the constitutional cap on debt service. Today’s newborn will be paying off these bonds, plus interest and debt service, thirty years from now.

Please vote NO on Issue 1.

Tom Brinkman, Jr.
Diana M. Fessler