Special Interests LOVE Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman’s Proposed Tax Hike
Including the publisher of The Columbus Dispatch, as his business interests benefit from city infastructure spending. You are shocked, I’m sure:
Developers, contractors and corporations have funded 95 percent of the campaign to raise Columbus’ income-tax rate.
More than $770,000 collected by the pro-tax campaign since late April has come from business backers, according to reports filed yesterday with the Franklin County Board of Elections.
The biggest donor so far: American Electric Power Co., which contributed $50,000 to the pro-tax committee called Citizens for Strong Neighborhoods and Good Jobs.
Lee Roberts, who’s running the pro-tax campaign, emphasized the number of donors — two-thirds were individuals — but said corporate money shows a broad range of support.
Voters go to the polls Aug. 4 to decide on the proposal to raise the city income-tax rate from 2 percent to 2.5 percent.
Basics First, the main group opposing the tax, didn’t raise any money, organizer Bill Todd said.
In a debate this week, Todd criticized city spending on Downtown projects, saying it’s a reward for corporate political backers.
“I think it’s really important the public understand who’s interested in these issues,” he said last night.[...]
Other top donors so far to the pro-tax campaign are: Evans, Mechwart, Hambleton & Tilton Inc. (engineers), $40,000; Stantec Consulting Inc. (engineers), $40,000; Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., $35,000; Malcolm Pirnie Inc. (engineers), $30,000; CH2M Hill Inc. (engineers), $30,000; Grange Insurance Companies, $25,000; Limited Brands, $25,000; NetJets Aviation Inc., $25,000; Corna Kokosing Construction Co., $25,000; Wolfe Enterprises, a subsidiary of The Dispatch Printing Company, $25,000.
I remember Lee as a former front-pager for the now-(almost) defunct website, Buckeye State Blog. I met him at a recent Issue 1 debate between Terry Casey and Councilman Ginther- He was a squirly, rotund young man in a cheap suit who was ran around the 2nd floor of the Columbus Athletic Center pointing me out, from a distance, to his fellow Coleman teet-sucking hacks.
Update: Jarrod Weiss, a leader of the Columbus anti-tax effort, links to the full finance report.