What’s it mean when sale taxes are changed

In Ohio, the governor is proposing a changes in the sales and income taxes. The rates would go down for both, but what the sales tax is applied to would be greatly expanded.

So the question became, what’s the impact? The calculations are simple for sales taxes. Here’s a method you might consider if you want to estimate what people in different income and family situations pay a year in sales taxes. I used tables produced by the IRS, that take into account the differences from state to state.

Read how this worked out in Ohio, and how we completed the analysis by applying the systems from other states to Ohio.


Voter database shows trends in names

Sometimes huge databases offer opportunities for fun stories other than their original purpose.

I’ve gotten some mileage out of Ohio’s database of about 8 million registered voters. The most recent example was ranking names for popularity and by age, to show how some once popular names like Mary are way down the list among young adults. Check out the name game database story.

Earlier, using a different version of the state’s database, I was able to identify which names lean Republican and Democrat. In both cases, we offered databases online so people could search for their own names.

Urban turnout in Cuyahoga County in 2012 still lagged Republican areas

A big deal was made about Barack Obama’s efforts to get out the vote in 2012; so much so that one might believe that the turnout was better in Obama’s strongholds than where Mitt Romney ran strongest.

Not true. While the Democratic turnout might have been stronger than many years historically, the turnout remained best where Republicans live, at least in Cuyahoga County. Here’s what we found.