Today, the Dayton Daily news published our short letter to the editor. Right next to a longer anti-pot piece by Bob and Hope Taft. Originally, they’d said they’d let us have 650 words- which we carefully crafted. Their reasoning for not publishing the original and the full letter, follow today’s letter. Note, they had no problem using much of our research in their really long article last Sunday.
Reader’s alternative to Sinclair levy
Since 1966, Montgomery County taxpayers have never said no to a Sinclair Community College tax levy for our county, the one with the second-highest tax burden in the state.
About a dozen years ago, Sinclair built a campus in Warren County. The school claims zero Montgomery County funds are spent outside Montgomery County and the costs of the services that they now provide in Warren, Preble and Greene County are funded entirely with the $50 extra per credit hour they charge students from those counties.
If that’s truly the case, instead of taxing Montgomery County residents with a second levy why not raise tuition $50 per credit hour, and we don’t pay any Sinclair tax?
Sinclair has zero debt and refuses to float bonds to finance capital improvements. This is unlike every other state school.
If you really want to “Make Sinclair Strong” — we the people of “Keep Sinclair Fair” www.keepsinclairfair.org suggest that you vote no on Issue 13, and for any other Sinclair levy, until they tax the residents of Warren, Greene and Preble counties as well.
— DAVID ESRATI, DAYTON
“I think there are some good points you make, but there are just as many points that seem unsubstantiated and yet stated as fact. Overall, it doesn’t feel like a guest column of this length to me. I’d be OK with it as a shorter letter to the editor, in the 180-200 word range. If you want to resubmit in that form, I’d need it back pretty quickly to run in the early part of next week.”
Here is the letter they should have run:
Montgomery County has never said no to Sinclair Community College since they started taxing us in 1966. Publicly opposing Sinclair is akin to blasphemy. Yet, it’s time to vote no, and make Sinclair stronger, despite what their expensive levy campaign says.
For the last 12 years, Sinclair has been working outside of Montgomery County; they built a real campus in Warren County, a hybrid campus in Preble and are teaching courses in Greene County- all counties that pay no taxes to support them. It’s time to Keep Sinclair Fair and demand that those counties contribute for the Sinclair that we built.
Sinclair’s administration, that has grown by leaps and bounds since Dr. Steven Johnson took over from the legacy of the revered Dr. David Ponitz, has repeated over and over that “No Montgomery County funds” have been spent in the neighboring untaxed counties. And for some reason, that patently untrue statement has been accepted by us, the residents of Montgomery County; who are struggling with the second highest tax burden in the State (after Cuyahoga).
We have seen businesses leave Montgomery county for lower tax rates in Greene and Warren County (the “fastest growing” county in the State) for the last 20 years. We have seen our local governments grant huge tax abatements to large companies as part of “economic development” – instead of realizing, that high tax burdens are contributing factors in foreclosures, business failures, and outward migration. When the “leaders” of our community say we’re building a future on “Meds, Eds and Feds”- they don’t mention that these organizations don’t contribute property taxes, forcing the rest of us to subsidize their infrastructure.
If the true costs of the expansion to other counties is really covered by the $50 more a credit hour that those students pay, by the same logic, we could eliminate the existing levy and just boost tuition by $50 a credit hour (still a great deal) and pay no property tax at all.
All of us have benefited from Sinclair, even if we’ve never attended. The dental hygienist who cleans your teeth is a probable graduate, and many nurses and home health aides have come through Sinclair. My own business has hired Sinclair grads in the past, but will no longer. A private school, SAA in Kettering, prepares students much better, in the same time. They receive no subsidy from all of us, but produce much more qualified graduates.
According to many friends who work, or have worked at Sinclair, that since Dr. Johnson took over the school is relying more on part-time, low paid temporary professors. The school has also moved from a mantra “find the need and endeavor to meet it” to “invent the need and endeavor to hype it”- if you need proof, they’ve sunk $9 million dollars to train drone operators, and $0 to train truck drivers. Look in the Sunday classified section to see which field has more job openings?
It should concern us all that increasing numbers of high school students are receiving Sinclair credits. This might be part of the reason that a Bachelors degree is now looked at as the equivalent of the high school diploma 50 years ago. Besides devaluing both the High School diploma and the Sinclair degree, it’s time that Ohio’s unconstitutional system of funding public education needs fixed first.
Another Ponitz legacy was not borrowing for capital investment. It made sense in his tenure of high interest rates, but for Sinclair not to float bonds for capital projects while interest rates are at an all time low is stupid. Sinclair is the only public education institution that is debt free- thanks to your high taxes.
It’s time to keep Sinclair fair, and strong. Ask all the served counties to share in the investment via property tax, before voting yes to another Sinclair levy.
Can you tell what’s unsubstantiated?