Efficiency? Who needs it?

- January 17, 2013

In this edition of our eNews — Paydays lenders get around Ohio law; manufacturing clusters are the way to go; Ohio’s bank-tax overhaul misses the mark; an effort to undermine efficiency.

Your money or your keys – At least two companies are making high-interest payday loans in Ohio using vehicle titles as collateral, selling bigger loans than traditional payday operators. Keys for Collateral details how companies have gotten around Ohio laws that restrict payday lending, and are selling loans at triple-digit rates that are potentially more dangerous than ever for Ohio families.

Pull together – Research assistant Tim Krueger recently told a legislative taskforce that Ohio policymakers should take steps to encourage and strengthen manufacturing clusters in the state. Fostering areas of dense, specialized manufacturing would increase Ohio’s global competitiveness and make it a more desirable location for manufacturers.

Never mind – In a November memo, we told legislators to change or reject HB 510, an overhaul of Ohio’s bank tax. They didn’t take our advice, approving a law that favors big banks with a special low rate and creates new loopholes. The General Assembly eliminated one costly exemption that allowed banks to avoid taxes, but muffed an opportunity to fully modernize the tax.

Efficiency under fire – FirstEnergy wants to weaken Ohio’s energy efficiency standard, or even get rid of it; we think that’s a bad idea. Our statement on why the standard must be kept lays out reasons we need to stick with efficiency – mostly, everyone benefits and it’s an essential tool for developing a stronger, greener future for Ohio.

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