conspiracy theorist

Taxation without representation is alive and well

 by Mark Luedtke

 America’s Founding Fathers fought a war to put an end to England’s taxation of the American colonies without allowing the colonists representation in the English Parliament. Today, Americans gleefully tax others without representation. In a practically secret election on Aug. 6, Butler Township residents created two new Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs) to tax non-residents. Why raise taxes on yourself when you can vote to raise them on people who can’t vote to stop you?The Dayton Daily News reported, “The business district passed 1,158 to 616 with a total vote of 1,774 and the hotel district passed 1,159 to 611 with 1,770 votes.” It’s nice to know there are 611 people in Butler Twp. with a conscience, but they are far outnumbered by plunderers who just want to steal from people who have no power to resist.

The Dayton Daily News provided the details: “The development zones will allow the township to assign a 1 percent corporate tax and a 1 percent employee income tax in areas located from I-75 to the east side of North Dixie Drive and from Benchwood Road up to the south of Maxton Road. The zone boundaries also will be on both sides of Miller Lane, from Maxton Road to Little York Road. The only residents who will be taxed will be the ones who work in the proposed economic development zones.”

All taxation is theft. Tax hikes are often quietly put on ballots other than the November ballot because few people realize there’s an election. This makes it easier for the people who benefit from the stolen money to overwhelm their victims at the polls. But in the case of JEDDs, many, if not most of the people getting plundered don’t live in the township, so they can’t vote against the tax. This is doubly evil, and it’s happening everywhere. H.L. Mencken claimed, “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” He was right.

You might think plunderers would have trouble justifying such naked theft. You would be wrong. The Springfield News-Sun propagandized, “Townships use economic development district funds to spur growth.” No, they don’t. That’s not possible. You can’t steal something that doesn’t exist, therefore the development always comes before the plundering. Walmart and all the businesses that Walmart attracted didn’t decide to open a store in Butler Township because of the JEDD. Voters imposed the JEDD because Walmart and those businesses were already built and thriving.

Pretty much everywhere you see a thriving economic center on the outskirts of town, voters have imposed JEDDs to plunder some of the wealth being created. The Sun revealed, “Employees in the Dayton region not otherwise subject to local income tax have paid $7.1 million from their paychecks because they work in a joint economic development district.” JEDDs made those people $7.1 million poorer, but the burden doesn’t end there. It also creates a compliance burden, as people have to file taxes in multiple districts.

JEDDs also plunder and restrict businesses. WHIO described a JEDD near Lebanon: “‘The easiest way to understand a JEDD is to consider it like a homeowner’s association,’ [Turtlecreek Township Trustee Jonathan Sams] said. ‘Where you have certain covenants and restrictions because you want the development to go in a certain direction.’” Socialist central planning like this can only harm development.

WHIO continued: “There are no residential parcels in the JEDD and part of the new agreement calls for a 1 percent income tax that will be imposed on new developments. The township and the city will each received [sic] 45 percent of the taxes collected, and Lebanon will retain 2 percent for administering the tax. Eight percent will be invested in the JEDD area.

‘This is unique to JEDDs anywhere,’ Sams said. ‘Eight percent of the JEDD revenues stay within the JEDD district itself for beautification and maintenance.’” This exposes the lie about development. Only 8 percent of the plundered wealth stays in the JEDD, and that’s unusual.

Between the taxes and regulations, it’s obvious JEDDs are bad for business. Businesses want to keep costs down so they can provide higher quality products at lower prices to their customers. Thriving economic centers like Walmarts are built on the outskirts of cities to avoid city taxes. High taxes are why Dayton’s economy stays bad while the suburbs do better. But once businesses are established, the plunderers come along and create JEDDs to legally steal from them.

This theft has consequences. It drags businesses into decline. USA Today reported on Aug. 15, “The Dow Jones industrial average shed about 1.5 percent – 225 points – on disappointing Wal-Mart earnings, news of job cuts at Cisco, weak economic reports and 2-year high in 10-year Treasury yield.”

Walmart’s business model relies on very low prices. Taxes drive up prices. These new taxes on Walmart are hurting the company and hurting everybody, since we have to pay more for products. The lesson we should learn is taxes harm the economy and make everybody poorer. We should cut – or better yet abolish – taxes so our economy can rebound.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes only.

 Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at


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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at

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