Pass along a news tip by clicking HERE.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

OH-02 Dem Steve Black Gets Whacked: Viral Website Questions Farming Tax Break

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Democratic congressional candidate Steve Black is the target of an attack Website. It says that he is taking advantage of property tax breaks on his home that are intended to aid Ohio's farmers. The site links to Hamilton County records. It's a hardhitting slam that portrays Black -- a wealthy lawyer -- as someone who uses legal loopholes to dodge taxes that would support public schools and other local government entities. The site does not say who is responsible for the attack on Black. State law does allow agricultural exemptions, and there is no allegation that Black has done anything illegal.

Black is campaigning in the March primary against Vic Wulsin for the Democratic nomination in Ohio's 2nd Congression district, which covers seven counties in Southern Ohio. Here's a sample from the website, which labels Black a hypocrite:

"Well, it seems that the former Republican Mayor (sic), heir to a significant family fortune, and running for congress as a pillar of the community may have taken lessons from the 'culture of corruption' regarding rural issues and agribusiness. It appears the wealthy Mr. Black has been getting a big (CAUV) tax break on his Indian Hill estate."


  1. It seems that you didn't do much research on this - the Whistleblower Newswire reports that both Jean Schmidt and Victoria Wulsin also have utilized or are utilizing the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) tax benefit. If you attend an campaign event at Steve Black's home or go meet him, you will see that he has a small working farm that is definitely not "an estate". Please stick to the real issues, or at least be fair in your treatment of the candidates.

  2. I just read the attack site on Steve Black and his family farm that is posted on your blog. What a a bunch of horse ****! Apparently these anonymous sources do not understand how the CAUV works, that anyone who applies for it must be vetted and certified by the county auditor (so blame Dusty Rhodes, I guess), and that this law was created to protect family farms from being overdeveloped. It just goes to show how ill-informed and ridiculous these people are (and how cowardly -- post an attack website and stay anonymous -- nice). For accurate information on the law, please see:

    By the way, the Blacks have a full-time farmer who maintains the land and the operation of the facility. I am sure they would have Joe around if it wasn't a farm. Also, google maps is not always right. The house the map shows is their neighbors. At least get your facts right.

  3. This is pathetic. This is obviously a direct shot from somebody associated with the Wulsin campaign. Can it get any lower than this? Obviously whoever did this stupid thing doesn't know anything about the CAUV law. It's in place to protect family farms and keep people from having to sell their property to developers. Steve Black is a farm owner and has a farm that grows crops every year. It's a shame that nobody has chosen to actually report the facts. When will this mudslinging end?

  4. Icky Vicky must be scared. She's letting her supporters throw out stupid innuendo that couldn't be more factually incorrect. Wulsin's supporters must be really scared of Steve Black if they have to resort this kind of stuff. This just goes to show why Vic Wulsin is such a weak candidate. She should have won last time and she blew it.

    It's stuff like this that turns people off of politics. It's no wonder that people don't vote. We'll never solve the real problems in this country we concentrate on them and not on this kind of garbage.

  5. .
    "...the Blacks have a full-time farmer who maintains the land and the operation of the facility...."

    The fact of the matter is that Steve Black claims he makes only $3,000 a year on hay.

    Certainly, a full-time farming hand makes more than $3,000 per. year. Mr. Black only has 10.5 acres. Hardly, a farm justifing a full time hand ?

    So, how much hay could one grow on a 10.5 acre farm in one year ?

    What is the hay yield per. acre ?

    How much hay does a horse consume in one year ?

    Are there 5 members in Mr. Blacks family ?

    Do they each have their own horse ?

    So, is Mr. Black a commercial farmer or would his hay consumption be such that he needs to buy hay ?

    Is the tax-payer paying for his family to ride the trails of Indian Hill ?

    Is the tax-payer willing to pay Mr. Black $10,000 est. a year (reduced property tax) to claim he earns $3,000 ?

    Did Mr. Black claim on his website:

    "The Farm Bill was originally devised to provide a way to insure the survival of farms if the market did poorly. Today it has become largely a giveaway to big agribusiness. For example, King Ranch in Texas alone has received over 8 million dollars in subsidies since 1999. This is not the proper way to allocate subsidies if at all."

    Is Mr. Black gaming the system ?

    Did Mr. Black have the opportunity to respond, but, refused ?

    Is Dusty under investigation ?

    We Know !

    No one had anything to do with the investigation except freelance writers and the investigation is well vetted !

  6. This "investigation" mentioned above by the "freelance writers" will amount to zero by tomorrow morning. This is laughable, and the author(s) of the attack website or anyone else who is taking part in this impulsive, un-researched attack has never been to the Black’s home. I grew up with Steve’s children and spent a lot of time at the Black’s house. I’ve fed the chickens and eaten the vegetables from their garden. Just because Steve is a lawyer doesn’t mean that he can’t own or live on a farm.

  7. .
    "...Just because Steve is a lawyer doesn’t mean that he can’t own or live on a farm. January 06, 2008 10:12 PM"

    Did you pay for those tomatoes ?

    Personal consumption is hardly a qualification for commercial farming !

    Now, go back to stuffing campaign donation envelops !

    The story is bigger than you think !

  8. I think the person who wrote the original website is an idiot and a coward who is obviously related to Wulsin’s campaign. His/Her website is abominable- Steve Black is an intelligent, honest, ethical man (very different from most politicians). And Steve is smart enough to realize that his tax records would be looked into so don’t you think that he would have changed his exemption if it was unethical? Of course. What’s interesting is that according to the whistleblower blog, “icky Vicky” was also getting the same tax break UNTIL she ran for congress- sounds awfully suspicious to me. Whoever developed this site should take a look at the other Dem in the OH-02 race- oh wait, he/she works for them…never mind.

  9. I don't get this. Farm land is being eradicated at record rates by developers. Admirably, Ohio has created an incentive to encourage people to protect our heritage by maintaining their farms. Steve Black should be applauded rather than attacked for farming his land as it has been since the 1920s.

  10. .
    "...Steve Black should be applauded rather than attacked for farming his land as it has been since the 1920s...."

    The program is designed for farmers, not attorney's who have their private horses to ride the trails of Indian Hills !

    We find it ironic how Mr. Black has ran for cover !

    Just last night he removed, from his campaign site, the words: (if at all) regarding subsidies under the Farm Bill !

    The original site was cached and the question should be asked:

    Did Mr. Black remove his wRong wingnut whacko position on Farm subsidies once he was found with his own hand in the cookie jar !

    Does Mr. Black still hold the position that Farm Subsidies should not be used at all ?

    Mr. Black are you a HypocRite as it clearly appears ?