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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blackmailing your way to higher taxes

In Columbus, OH, the police chief is threatening all sorts of dire consequences if voters don't pass higher taxes:

Nearly 300 Columbus police officers will be laid off next year if voters don't approve an income tax increase Aug. 4, Columbus Police Chief Walter Distelzweig said this morning.

"If we receive additional revenue, these cuts would not be made," Distelzweig said.

The 2010 budget that he unveiled this morning is based on current revenues. It says the Police Division would shrink by 324 officers, with 297 layoffs and 27 retirements.
Of course, the police department and other branches of Columbus government could set priorities and cut spending elsewhere, but that's not scary enough. When facing a budget crunch, always threaten the most popular programs first.

Hattip: Lynn Walsh, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions

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