Ohio’s government is not as representative of its people as it could be. Politicians drawing themselves favorable gerrymandered districts has been a consistent detriment to our democratic process. As a result, the Ohio Statehouse has become stained by corruption and extremism, making it impossible to know what power-grab or overreach they’ll attempt next. This year, Ohioans will have the chance to remove politicians from the redistricting process by putting citizens back in the driver’s seat and level the playing field. I signed the “Citizens Not Politicians” petition and plan to vote in favor of its passage this November.
- Nick Tuell, Lebanon
Thank you for your article on the new IRS direct file program. This will be a beneficial development for taxpayers nationwide for reasons not covered in the Associated Press article. Taxes are complicated and commercial software does not easily accommodate many of the less common provisions which are nevertheless very important for many returns. An example of this is the third party designee. This is not important for most taxpayers, but if you are preparing taxes for an out of town relative it is critical. In earlier years commercial software allowed taxpayers to overwrite the software to include items not in the software to correct the resulting excluded provision. More recently commercial tax software programs have incorporated software modifications to incorporate these less common provisions. At this point the overwrite function was discontinued. The difficulty is that information on how to incorporate these provisions into the return is not included anywhere on the program. In several instances it would take me several hours to get assistance from a commercial provider that would enable me to include these provisions. The net effect was that commercial tax software which initially made tax preparation easier and more convenient has now made it more difficult and time consuming. Also, it has made a public fundraising process effectively a private, proprietary function, much less accessible to me and others as a taxpayer and citizen. For these reasons the IRS direct file program is a welcome change.
- William D. Todd, Dayton
As the former chair of the Dayton Sister City Committee who oversaw that organization when we became sister cities with Salfit, Palestine, I am devastated by what’s happening there and I hope that our politicians start to wake up and see how they’re contributing to what’s happening there soon, including right here in Dayton and Montgomery County. It is heartening, however, as someone who has studied and taught about Palestinian nonviolence academically, to see all of the work being done by multiple local groups right here in Dayton who are banding together to educate our residents and demand that politicians take action on the genocide taking place right now in Palestine and examine how our tax dollars are contributing to it. Dayton has now become the second-largest of Ohio’s cities (after Akron) to pass a formal ceasefire resolution on what’s happening in Palestine, and that’s a great start, but more must be done. This Sunday at Yellow Cab Tavern there is a special night of poetry dedicated to what’s happening in Gaza and other genocides around the world, so I hope DDN readers are able to attend and learn more starting at 7PM this Sunday, February 4.
- Arch Grieve, Dayton