Staff Writer

ASHTABULA -- William Pikor wants to stop the increase of taxes for the citizens of Ohio.

Pikor, who is running for state representative from the 99th District, signed a Taxpayer Protection Pledge on Thursday. The pledge stated that Pikor pledges to the taxpayers of the 99th District of Ohio and all people from the state that he would oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.

Pikor wants other candidates also to sign the pledge, which is sponsored by the American for Tax Reform, he said.

Wednesday is Tax Freedom Day declared by the tax foundation. What better time to get the message out, Pikor said. ; ;

"This is the day this year after which the average American started keeping their own earnings," he said.

"It now takes more than 100 days to pay off taxes to government entities that don't know how to ask citizens for less."

Tax rates should be lowered at all governmental levels and spending restrained, he said.

"To lift our local and state economy out of the doldrums, we need to leave more money in the hands of our citizens," Pikor said.

Especially now with the energy prices going through the roof and other expenses going up something has got to give, he said.

"Overall the tax rates can't get any worse," Pikor said.

From the state's standpoint it hurts Ohio. Businesses are going to other state were the cost is less, he said.

"I've always had this idea and its part of the reason I am running," Pikor said.

Tax rates in Ohio can be more than 50 percent that would include 35 percent federal tax, 7.185 percent state income tax, 15.3 percent FICE/SE payroll/income tax and local income tax up to 3 percent, Pikor said. Add to this at least 5.5 percent sales taxes that hurt the poorest citizens the most, he said.

Pikor is trying to impact the cost of government and make the state and Ashtabula County more attractive. The state has a host of social problems caused by economic problems, Pikor said.

Pikor's target audience is the citizens of Ashtabula County, he said.

"I think they understand the most," Pikor said. "I know they voted against the state tax increase last November."

Pikor also wants the state legislation on board with his plan.

"The legislature passes the budget and did pass the smallest increase in years, he said. "However, the budget increases of the last 10 plus years has bloated state government."

For example, Pikor said the state Attorney General pays outside (private) attorneys to do legal work concerning the state.

"Why contract with outside firms when the Attorney General's office is capable of hiring and handling those issues out of the office for less cost and to reduce the appearance of campaign contribution abuse," Pikor said.

Ashtabula County and the state needs to be seen as it was in the 1970s, a low tax environment that attracted business and opportunity, he said.

"We need again to be a place where people want to move to and not from," Pikor.

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