July 2007 News from Policy Matters Ohio: Awards and Reports

- July 20, 2007

Recognition – Congratulations to Researcher David Rothstein on receiving the Community Shares Distinguished Activist Award. Community Shares held its annual meeting and awards ceremony on June 19th, recognizing David for his work on clean energy, consumer protection, job creation, tax credits and free tax preparation.  Community Shares, a workplace giving campaign that supports social justice advocacy in greater Cleveland, topped the million-dollar mark for the first time ever in 2006. Ask your employer to allow you to give to Shares at work.

Learning from Living Wages – A county living wage would help employees of county contractors, not impose major additional costs, and direct county economic development dollars toward higher quality jobs. Our study, completed for the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners, considers whether Cuyahoga County should join the 120 cities and counties – including some of the nation’s largest – which set a wage floor for workplaces receiving city or county funds. We conclude that a living wage would be a good policy for Cuyahoga County.

Target Tax Cuts – The state would save at least $118 million a year and direct the same or greater tax reductions to low- and moderate-income Ohioans if it targeted the expansion of the property tax exemption proposed by Governor Ted Strickland. Those were among the conclusions of an analysis by the national Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, released last month by Policy Matters Ohio. Although the General Assembly ultimately went ahead with the full homestead exemption, our report helped bring a robust debate about the tax cut, including editorials in leading newspapers advocating better targeting.

Annual Check-up – Last year we released more than 30 reports or briefs, tracked more than 400 media mentions, spoke publicly more than 100 times, described how a higher minimum wage is compatible with a thriving economy, served on several transition teams, and ended the year in the black financially. No wonder it took us until now to write up the accomplishments in our 2006 annual report.

Job Watch – Ohio lost jobs again in May. More than 177,000 jobs have left the state since January of 2001. The disappointing numbers speak for themselves here.

Declare Energy Independence – National Apollo Alliance President Jerome Ringo, speaking at the Levin College Forum, led a gripping discussion about how renewable energy investments could create jobs in Ohio’s struggling urban centers.

That’s all!
The Policy Matters Ohio Team 

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