Newark Advocate takes GOP to task for local budget cuts

The editorial page at the Newark Advocate is hardly a hotbed of progressive thought. But this week the page took the state GOP to task for its cynical policies of cutting taxes at the state level only to make steep cuts at the local level. As a result, local services like police and fire protection will suffer or local taxes will go up. All for a state income tax cut estimated to be worth $9 a year for the average Ohioan.

Rare headline alert!
Rare headline alert!

These policies are touted as friendly to job-creators, but what is clear is that they help the wealthy, and hardly anyone else. Don’t believe us? Here’s what the folks at the Advocate had to say:

Our opinion: GOP budget likely means higher local taxes

Ohio’s Republican crusade to make our state more business friendly has resulted in another round of cuts to personal and business taxes and a small regressive sales tax increase. If their plan works, Ohio’s economy will create more jobs with employees paying their share of local and state taxes. They just forget to tell you those local taxes likely will be higher, perhaps much higher. …

Even welcomed increases in school funding, following significant cuts in the previous state budget, aren’t keeping some school districts in the black.

Despite knowing this, Republicans are making local property tax levies more expensive. …

Some Republicans admit it’s a calculated ploy to make it tougher for local governments to pass levies. Their zeal to lower taxes apparently knows no end, even when it means local services will be compromised.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that there are over 18,000 fewer local government jobs in Ohio than when state government changed hands in January of 2011. Meanwhile, there have been $1.3 billion in new money levies for public schools on Ohio ballots since Governor Kasich’s first state budget was introduced.

Even conservative newspapers know the truth: the state budget will cause local governments to struggle and local taxes to rise so that Ohio’s wealthiest income earners can enjoy a break on their state taxes.