Is Legalize Theft of Property Taxes Acceptable to Our Commissioners?…updated 3/9/24

By Brian Massie, A Watchman on the Wall

We discovered back in 2021 that the Lake County elected officials had been sitting on two accounts totaling $6,059,735.76 of taxpayers’ money from overpayments property taxes and estate fees. Treasurer Michael Zuren has returned $1,431,638.05, but cannot find the rightful owners of the balance. Per the Ohio Revised Code, the undistributed balance can be transferred to the County General Fund to be spent as the Commissioners deem necessary.

We say “not so fast”! That money belongs to the taxpayers, and must be returned to the taxpayers.

Here is the letter we submitted to the Lake County Commissioners and read into the record at today’s Commissioners’ meeting.

We have asked the Commissioners to provide us with a written response to our request to return the overpaid property taxes and estate fees to the Lake County taxpayers.

Here is Commissioner John Hamercheck’s position on the overpaid property tax balance:

“Just so you know, I have continuously stated the Board of County Commissioners should not profit from monies that have been collected inappropriately and cannot be returned to their rightful owners.  I continue my position that the County property tax (inside millage) should be rolled back to provide “real” value back to our Lake County property owners.”

Lake County Commissioner John Hamercheck

This leaves Commissioner John Plecnik and Commissioner Rich Regovich on the “undecided” list.

Please contact both Commissioners and tell them that legalized theft of taxpayers’ property taxes is immoral and unethical. This will be a real test for Commissioners that claim to be “conservative”, and push the no new taxes mantra.

We say that they shall be judged by their fruits, and not their words.



I was told that the Commissioners believe that the overpayment of funds by taxpayers should be used to build the new “public safety center” (read: jail). Doesn’t public safety center make it sound like they are building a “splash park” in downtown Painesville.

Question for Commissioner Plecnik and Regovich: Anyone that steals money, if charged and convicted by a jury of their peers, is incarcerated in a “public safety center”. However, is it acceptable that Commissioners are allowed to steal money from the taxpayers to build this “public safety center” without any repercussions?

Do we have that right Commissioners? Theft is acceptable, if it is for the “greater good”? …sehr gut, muy bien, tres bien…just wanted to know you position on theft. In any language, it is immoral.

Note to Mr. Adam Dudziak, Democrat Candidate running for County Commissioner against Rich Regovich in November.

On your mark, get set, go……

This should be easy…..just keep the moral high ground, and be concerned for the average taxpayer being priced out of the homes that they have worked all their lives to achieve.

And ensure that the average citizen is heard, recognized and their concerns addressed in Commissioners’ meetings.

Right now our Commissioner meetings are pointless unless you want your picture taken with the politicians. In my opinion, the Republicans have left the average citizens in the rear view mirror.


Categories: Lake County - General, Lake County Politics, LC Public Safety Ctr., Uncategorized


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