COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Click HERE for Gov. Ted Strickland's first State of the State speech to the Ohio General Assembly. He's making cuts, and the knife is out. But the governor also seems to have declared war on Kentucky, where a lot of Ohio River Valley-dwelling Buckeyes habitually head for cheap cigarettes and booze in shops and liquor stores just across the border. His pledge to crack down on cigarette smugglers is in the last line of the following passage about his cuts.
"That’s why my budget eliminates the Ed Choice voucher program.
"It limits the Student Choice Grant for students attending private colleges to those with a financial need.
"It eliminates financial aid for students in proprietary for-profit schools not in the Board of Regents system.
"It limits the discount on the state sales tax provided to large retailers.
"It ensures that the Commercial Activity Tax applies broadly and equally across all sectors of the economy including the petroleum industry.
"It captures for Ohio the full sales tax revenue generated from residents of other states who come here to buy motor vehicles.
"It prevents shipments of untaxed cigarettes into our state – a dubious practice that hurts small business people, especially in border communities."
In days of yore, Ohio liquor agents and Cincinnati vice cops would stake out the Kentucky shops and follow people across the bridges back into Ohio, where they would be arrested and their illegal imports confiscated for violating tax laws. The late Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Edward J. Donnellon used to ask the miscreants how much they lost when the revenuers pinched them at the border. He wouldn't send them to jail. He said seeing the smokes, or beer or Jim Beam seized by the State of Ohio was punishment enough.
The stake outs stopped after Kentucky officials threatened to arrest the Ohio lawmen as loiterers & etc. This could get interesting.....