Ohio Issue 2, Sales Tax Increase Act (May 1998)

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The Ohio Sales Tax Increase Act, also known as Issue 2, was on the May 5, 1998 ballot in Ohio as a legislatively-referred state statute, where it was defeated.[1] This amendment would have authorized a one-cent sales tax increase, half of the proceeds of which would have gone to funding education and the other half to providing property tax relief.

Election results

Ohio Issue 2 (May 1998)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,514,66179.91%
Yes 380,886 20.09%

Election results via the Ohio Secretary of State.[2]

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[3]

EDUCATION LEGISLATION SUBJECT TO VOTER APPROVAL

(Proposed by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio)
Shall the provisions of House Bill 697 levying a statewide one per cent sales and use tax, to be used one-half for school operations, education technology, school facilities, and debt service for school facilities, and one-half for additional property tax relief for homesteads, be approved?
If approved, the tax shall take effect July 1, 1998.
A majority yes vote is necessary for passage.
YES, TO APPROVE THE TAX
NO, TO REJECT THE TAX [4]

Support

The following reasons were given in support of Issue 2 by the Committee to Prepare Argument For Issue 2:[3]

  • Increase state education funding by more than $500 million annually;
  • Make funds immediately available for much needed school building repairs, renovations and construction;
  • Improve learning opportunities for disadvantaged children by funding smaller class sizes in many districts;
  • Provide additional computer technology for Ohio’s children.
  • Provide over $500 million annually to lower the property taxes of homeowners;
  • Require these funds be used for one purpose and one purpose only: reducing the residential property taxes of Ohio homeowners.
  • Cuts $100 million from state agency budgets and redirects those funds to primary and secondary education
  • Increases financial accountability requirements to help ensure that school districts spend education funds wisely;
  • Focuses on academic basics — reading, writing, science and math;
  • Establishes new education standards of excellence to help Ohio children succeed in the 21st century

[4]

Opposition

The following reasons were given in opposition of Issue 2 by the Committee to Prepare Argument Against Issue 2:[3]

  • ISSUE 2 COULD TURN OUT TO BE “LOTTERY 2”, BECAUSE THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT MORE MONEY WILL BE SPENT ON SCHOOLS.
  • ALTHOUGH SUPPORTERS PROMISE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF, ISSUE 2 LEAVES IT TO THE LEGISLATURE TO LATER DECIDE WHO WILL RECEIVE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF AND WHAT PROGRAMS WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDS. CITIZENS SHOULD NOT BE ASKED TO PAY FOR A TAX WITHOUT KNOWING HOW THE TAX WILL IMPACT THEIR FAMILIES.
  • ISSUE 2 PLACES AN UNFAIR BURDEN ON THE OHIO CITIZENS WHO CAN LEAST AFFORD IT. WHILE ALL CITIZENS WILL PAY THE EXTRA PENNY, LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, APARTMENT DWELLERS, AND SENIORS ON FIXED INCOMES WILL BE HARDEST HIT.
  • A TAX INCREASE MUST BE THE LAST RESORT. OHIO IS EXPERIENCING THE LARGEST SURPLUS IN ITS HISTORY (NEARLY ONE BILLION DOLLARS). TAXING OHIO CITIZENS WHILE THE STATE’S COFFERS OVERFLOW IS UNCONSCIONABLE.
  • BUSINESSES IN BORDER COUNTIES WILL FACE A SIGNIFICANT COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE WITH THEIR CROSS BORDER RIVALS. AS A RESULT, OHIOANS WILL LOSE JOBS.
  • ISSUE 2 DOES NOT REDUCE RELIANCE ON PROPERTY TAXES AS MANDATED BY THE SUPREME COURT.

[4]

See also

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