Ohio taxpayers need to be protected from legislative enactments that favor charter schools.
The schemes that are concocted in the charter industry to rip off taxpayers seem endless. Open fraud and corruption is regularly exposed via the media. But some schemes are less obvious.
A case in point goes like this. A non-profit company (250 Shoup Mill LLC) leases property to Horizon Science Academy in Dayton (a charter school associated with Fethullah Gulen, the exiled Turkish Islamic cleric residing in his worldwide Gulen movement headquarters in Saylorsburg PA). 250 Shoup Mill LLC is a subsidiary of the Gulen-associated New Plan Learning which leases property to other Gulen charters.
What a tangled web!
250 Shoup Mill LLC owes property taxes on the property leased to the Dayton charter according to the Ohio Tax Commissioner. The company appealed the Commissioner’s decision all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court which heard the case on April 19. But in the future, it won’t matter what the Court decides. The legislature inserted a provision in the state budget bill in 2011 that exempts property owners like 250 Shoup Mill LLC from paying property tax.
Regardless of the Court’s decision, in the long term, the Gulenists will accrue more tax money for their movement via the amendment to the budget bill in 2011. The Gulenists have learned how to use the U.S. political and judicial systems to their advantage. Taxpayers need protection.
School district buildings that house students are owned by the public and thus are free from property taxation. Public funds used to support the housing of charter students end up in the hands of private individuals who should be subject to property tax.
How many Ohioans really understand what goes on with the Buckeye State’s charter industry? Public meetings are needed to expose the truth.
The Hudson League of Women Voters hosted a panel discussion regarding charters on April 25 in Hudson. An enlightened panel informed area citizens about the need for more regulations on the charters industry. Notably, Representative Kristina Roegner, a Republican from Hudson, urged citizens to make their voices heard to pressure legislators to pass additional legislation to hold charters accountable.
The charter lobby is hard at work to further deregulate the industry. Concurrently, there is some bipartisan support for more regulations as a means of curbing the corruption and low performance in the charter industry.
Hence, it is imperative that citizens are well informed about how their tax dollars are being used by the charter industry and about the need for further transparency and accountability.