For Immediate Release: March 22, 2012
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
Columbus—Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today charged that Governor Kasich’s plan to fund another income tax cut by marginally raising Ohio’s oil and gas severance tax (currently the second-lowest in the nation) would be a “giveaway to the oil companies, a windfall for the wealthy, and another body blow to schools, local governments, and middle income taxpayers.”
Specifically, IO says:
Said Innovation Ohio President Janetta King:
“Governor Kasich and the state legislature say that Ohio’s severance taxes must be ‘competitive’ with those of other states. We agree.
“But being ‘competitive’ doesn’t mean being ‘the lowest.’ At a time when Big Oil is poised to take up to $636 billion in natural resources out of our state, there is no reason on earth why Ohio taxpayers should not get their fair share—especially when we’re already being gouged for $4 per gallon gasoline.
“Governor Kasich’s proposed income tax cut is also a joke—at least for middle income Ohioans. Recently, the Governor rubbed two dimes together to point out that we’re currently charging oil companies only 20 cents tax on each barrel of oil. But for the average taxpayer, his tax cuts would mean 4 dimes—or 40 cents per week. Meanwhile, the wealthiest Ohioans would get a tax break worth thousands of dollars a year.
“Ohioans have some choices to make. We can let oil companies deplete our resources and pay far less than they pay in every other state but one. Or we can ask Big Oil to pay their fair share and give Ohio taxpayers a fair shake. We can cut taxes for average taxpayers by 19 bucks, while the wealthiest Ohioans rake in thousands. Or we can use severance tax revenue to replace some of the money Gov. Kasich cut from schools and local governments, save the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters, and repair the damage oil companies will do to Ohio roads and infrastructure. The choice is ours. And the clock is ticking.”