Enough is enough

Jim Sitterly has had enough of rising taxes he's starting a petition drive to put the recent raise in the real estate conveyance fee before the voters. But Sitterly faces a daunting task. He must get about 2,000 county residents who voted in Ohio's 2006 general election to sign petitions in the next three weeks. "I'm very confident that if this is put before the voters it will not pass," the Norwalk resident said.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


Jim Sitterly has had enough of rising taxes he's starting a petition drive to put the recent raise in the real estate conveyance fee before the voters.

But Sitterly faces a daunting task. He must get about 2,000 county residents who voted in Ohio's 2006 general election to sign petitions in the next three weeks.

"I'm very confident that if this is put before the voters it will not pass," the Norwalk resident said.

Huron County Commissioners passed a resolution last week to raise the fee, which Sitterly sees as just another tax, from $2 to $3 for every $1,000 of a property's value. That means the buyer of a $100,000 home will now have to pay an extra $100 for a total $300 conveyance fee.

Sitterly said he has only a month from the time the resolution was approved to get the necessary signatures. The resolution was signed on Oct. 25, giving Sitterly until Nov. 25 to turn in his petitions.

"The state is trying to nickel and dime us to death," said Sitterly, "and now the county commissioners are, too. We need to send our commissioners a message.

"I think if they wanted to be really stand-up guys, they should have put it before the voters in these troubling times," he said.

The state allows county commissioners to approve a conveyance fee of up to $4 per thousand. Commissioner Mike Adelman said last week that commissioners checked with several surrounding counties before approving the increase and most are already at the $4 limit.

The fee was $1 in Huron County until 2000, when commissioners raised it to $2.

Sitterly said an increase of 200 percent in just seven years is too much. He said the amount the county has received from the fee has already risen with inflation as homes and property prices have increased.

"This is just one more way to keep the younger people from buying a home in Huron County," Sitterly said.

It will also discourage business, he said, by adding to the cost for a company to come into the county or buy more land to expand operations.

Sitterly said businesses are becoming more competitive and cutting their profit margins to keep going, but facing higher taxes.

"The writings on the wall unemployment, home foreclosures, tax delinquencies," Sitterly said. "That's surely a sign of troubling times. We don't need higher taxes."

Sitterly is going to local Realtors to help collect signatures. He said Mike Myers, Tom Shaffoe and Jay Ewell have already agreed to help with petitions. He plans to contact realtors in other areas such as Bellevue and Willard also. Maple City Saw and Mower on Pleasant Street will also collect signatures, Sitterly said.

The resolution approving the increase said money raised by the increase will be used at the discretion of the commissioners, but Huron County Commissioner Gary Bauer said the commissioners have agreed that 75 percent will go to the Huron County Development Council and 25 percent will be spent on tourism.

"I was initially opposed to the tax," Bauer said. He decided to vote for it after every person at two public hearings supported the tax. Eleven people attended the first public hearing and 15 attended the second.

Adelman said many people attending the meetings were connected either to the county or Norwalk, Willard, New London and Monroeville governments or development boards or agencies, but several private citizens also attended.

Thomas Jarrett, who owns the Norwalk Antique Mall located downtown on Main Street, attended one of the public hearings and came away supporting the increase.

"I think it's going to help Norwalk overall," he said, because the money raised with the increase will be used for tourism and economic development.

"Being a business owner on Main Street, I supported it," he said. "I think it will bring tourism to Norwalk."

Jarrett said he has seen a publication on the turnpikes and other major roads that promotes many attractions in the area, but includes nothing about Norwalk. "I think we need something like that," he said.

He said he advertises in a publication available near Lake Erie and has gotten some response to those ads.

The conveyance fee has brought in about $120,000 per year recently and should collect another $50,000 to $60,000 with the increase.


Done Deal (Anon...

Hey fools this tax is going through and you can not stop it. sitterley is damn fool and JEFF is even worse. look around at this DEAD county and understand that it takes money to make money

JEF (Anonymous)

According to the Tax Foundation (www.taxfoundation.org), Ohio is the 49th WORST state for business in regards to state and local taxes. Only when politicians DECREASE taxes is Ohio's business climate likely to improve. HCC's ill-timed fee increase merely helps to exacerbate the local problem.

NWG (Anonymous)

Why didn't you use the word "cuz" earlier? A word like that only enhances your perceived intelligence. You must really know what you're talking about.

NWG (Anonymous)

Done Deal, you like calling everyone a fool apparently but look in the mirror. You call this county "dead" which I personally don't feel is a true statement but you have every right to make it. By your own admission, if this county is in trouble then why would taking more money from people who obviously don't have it to give make everything turn around? Why would anyone want to move into a county that has a realtor sign in every other front yard because people can't sell their homes? Would you move somewhere and invest in a home or land knowing chances are your property value will probably go down? We have to draw a line in the sand at some point and say enough is enough or they'll nickel and dime us to death with new taxes. The county right now is like a leaking swimming pool, instead of just adding more water to keep the level up, someone needs to fix the leak. They fire 3 people from Family Services to save the county money and then turn around and give a 1/3 or more of it back in raises to bosses and supervisors... I think we might've found a small leak right there!

Done Deal (Anon...

The next leak to be plugged will be NWG and JEF's mouths! listen up! the tax is a FEE on the SALE of PROPERTY. it will not be felt by the vast majority of the population. the tax will raise much need development dollars to get jobs so you can make more money and spend more money and so on and so forth. this is the answer to hcdc funding problems cuz they need more dollars to work with.

JEF (Anonymous)

If according to 'some,' Huron Co. is 'DEAD,' it'll take one-heck-of-a-lot more than the possibilty of an additional $60K in the hands of misguided bureaucrats in order to resurrect the state of the local economy.


its a shame that mr sitterly didn't get the petition out there alot sooner

newshound (Anon...

Back after being out of the area for a bit, but it doesn't look like much has changed. In fact, this topic is beginning to remind me of a throwback of about 20 years ago in some college classes... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Jeff Schuller (...

Hey done deal thanks for so nice. Win or lose on this issue a lot of good has already been established. People will remember things like this when it is time to vote. Thanks.

JEF (Anonymous)

Go take a peak at Citizen-Times.com. On Tues, voters in 16 counties of N. Carolina defeated proposed increases in real estate transfer taxes. One of the organizers of the opposition called it, '...a big victory for home ownership and housing affordability,' Obviously unlike some in Huron Co., the majority of voters in NC don't fall for their local politicians claptrap about needing additional money for 'growth.'

T$Robinson.... ...


Pro Growth (Ano...

Want to help foster growth in tourism,business and industry? Keep the gov't out and cut taxes. Gov't has no clue how to run a business. Leave that to the owners. Cutting taxes has worked every time it's used.

In Business (An...

I hear what you're saying, Pro Growth, but unfortunately I don't think it works every time. But, that's just been my experience.

Done Deal (Anon...

I just spoke with the commissioners today and they pretty much said "sitterley is a joke of a human being" others in county government said "they do not have nearly enough VALID signatures to get this issue on the ballot. this too shall pass and you ignorant clueless morons will not stop this tax increase. JEF don't bother responding because as i have said many times: this is a DONE DEAL


Comment deleted for vulgar language.


IS THAT A LITTLE PLAY ON WORDS THERE ?? whomever posted the last blog.. it certainly wasn't Mr. Sitterly. he wouldn't call off the effort, because he is a determined, and patriotic man.. good luck to you Mr. Sitterlyand i hope that you get at least 3 times as many signatures as you need

JEF (Anonymous)

Why is the HCC afraid to put the increase to a citizen's vote? Those who support this unfair and ill-timed increase obviously don't realize that the market value of their home was just decreased by bureaucratic fiat.

JEF (Anonymous)

Mr. Wiedenheft states that the conveyance fee has only been $2 per $1K since the previous increase in 2000. Now the HCC demands a 50% increase to $3 per $1K. Based on annual amortization, that's a 7.14% increase per year from 2000 to 2007. Have home prices been increasing in Huron Co. 7.14% annually over the past seven years? If anything, in the current buyer's mkt., sellers continue to slash the asking price of their home. Mr. Wiedenheft, delay implementing this unfair and ill-timed increase and allow hard working Huron Co. families to keep more of their home's value in their pocket.

JEF (Anonymous)

What's the Reflector editorial board's position on this issue? You come out strongly against torture of terrorists, an issue that has little if any effect on the daily lives and the pockets of the hard working people of Huron Co. Yet here we have the HCC practicing 'economic torture' on the property owners of Huron Co. and the Reflector editorial board is silent. Is this 50% conveyence fee increase a 'Toast' or a 'Roast' for you? Speak up.

hcdc supporter ...

Yes reflector, come out and support this issue because you know that this county needs development dollars.

Jim Sitterly (A...

It has come to me that some people on this site choose to call names and try to intimidate. I for one will not crawl into the Hog Trough and neither would the commissioners because because everyone stinks that wallows in the trough.People that read this site that are out of the county or state must be real impressed with the manners of a few indiviuals.Last I knew this was a democracy and I for one am not forcing anyone to sign and we voters will all decide at the polls. Petition is going well,we are rounding third base but I need more than just two thousand signatures in case some are invalid. Thank You.

Jim Sitterly (A...

If you were to move you're family or business into one of seven counties would you go to the one with the highest taxes or lowest. I rest my case.

in business (An...

Wish I had checked a little closer. Unfortunatedly we located on the Sandusky County side of Bellevue. If we were on the Huron County side they would be lower.

JEF (Anonymous)

To your point Mr. Sitterly, Mr. Wiedenheft states that the real estate conveyance fee charged by seven counties surrounding Huron Co. is currently higher. Might I ask - Can the HCC show that there is a direct connection between the higher fees and actual sustained economic growth within those counties?

Jim Sitterly ...

Mr.Alias whomever, this petition will be called off when I say and not you.


I went to the mower shop last week, and signed the petition, and i was really impressed with the shop..it was very organized and clean, it was much nicer than my expectations, good job Sitterly family... and the petition seemed to have a good amount of signatures , but as always they could use more, so i urge you all to stop by there and sign the petition, it litteraly takes 5 seconde to do something great , for our freedom of choice...

Milton Friedman...

As someone stated earlier,tax something and you get less of it. Taxing to expand commerce and industry is the ultimate absurdity. Won't happen,never has,never will. The really interesting point is that many times cutting a tax rate will result in an increase in tax revenue. Expanding business by cutting onerous tax and regulation results in more commerce which produces greater revenue at a lower tax rate. The money pouring in to the Fed is an example. Tax collections have never been higher. Unfortunately that is only half of the story. Congress spends money quicker than taxpayers can make it.

NWG (Anonymous)

Either Done Deal is (1)Mr. Wiedenheft, (2)someone that doesn't care for Mr Sitterly or (3)the person getting the job of printing $50,000 worth of tourism pamphlets for the county. With their constant display of stupidity and slander in these forums, they must certainly have an axe to grind.

from a distance...

Unfortunately, there are people that spend their day on these type of websites with the intention to "stir the pot" and try to pit people against each other. There can't be anyone that has a real interest in this issue that would post otherwise.

here's an issue...

from a distance...I always hated that song.