Voice of the People
City should drop $50 rental fee
I have been a landlord now for about five years. I borrowed money from the bank with a 15-year mortgage. I should collect about $500 a month.
My mortgage is $225. Interest rate is higher cause it is rental. Insurance is $100 month, also higher because it is rental. Property taxes run me $75. Taxes are doubled because it is rental. Municipal and garbage are $40 month, and the B&O tax is 1 percent. That should leave about $57 profit. So how does that sound?
Now comes the time you have to evict someone for nonpayment. There goes a month's rent, maybe two. It cost you $55 or more for the eviction papers and extra $20 to have it served. It takes at least two weeks or more to go to court. No matter the outcome, I will lose two months of rent, not counting the damage and clean-up. So I keep the damage deposit, but I still lost rent and the cost of eviction. There goes the profit.
But I have a good tenant who pays. Everything is good. Except for normal wear and tear, like a hot water tank goes out ($225) or the HAVC system ($2,000). The city, the insurance company and the bank are making more from this house than I am.
Now the mayor wants us to pay $50 more. Come on, this adding and adding has got to stop. Now Mayor Williams, I have a lot of faith in you and this city. The way I see it is: Why are we hiring more people to do a job that someone else should already be doing? Or, if you like, you can lower the properly tax in half, and I will be glad to give you the $50.
Shift funds from defense contractors
Congress may someday make budgetary decisions that will shape our country and its values for decades. Right now overfed defense contractors are spending millions on lobbyists to ensure that their products remain an overwhelming part of our values. We have to make sure they don't succeed.
Currently, the Pentagon spends more than $700 billion a year, with all too much of it just making rich defense contractors and their lobbyists even richer (last year, Wes Bush, president of Northrop Grumman, brought in a whopping $26 million). In the latest budget go-rounds, they are asking us to do things like spend $640 billion increasing our stockpile of nuclear weapons. Currently, we have 1,790 strategic nuclear warheads. You don't have to be a peacenik to see that spending $640 billion to continue expanding our already enormous nuclear arsenal is LUDICROUS.
It's particularly crazy when we've spent the last year listening to elected officials tell us we no longer have the resources to fund things like Head Start, higher education and home healthcare. Defense contractors' pockets are fat enough, we need these resources to care for our citizens, rebuild our communities and feed hungry families.
South Point, Ohio