This week we got our first look at Governor Kasich’s final two-year budget. Budgets, which govern all state spending for two years, are one of the main ways the executive sets forth his or her priorities for governing. These massive proposals contain not just funding for programs and services, they include a wide array of changes in law.
On the whole, Kasich’s budget is decidedly lacking in bold investments. The one objective the Governor appears to have prioritized was further lowering the state’s income tax rates. But while the Governor found billions for a tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthy, no similar investment was proposed to solve the state’s many crippling problems, such as our opioid crisis, crumbling infrastructure and schools.
Kasich’s plan would cut income tax rates across the board and reduce the number of tax brackets. As a result, people making $200,000 and those making $1 million would pay the same tax rate — 4.33%. To cover the $3.1 billion expense, Ohio’s sales tax, oil & gas severance tax, cigarette tax, and beer and wine taxes will go up, and Ohioans will be asked to pay new taxes on cable subscriptions, yard work and home redecorating, among other things. The Dispatch estimates the average Ohioan would pay $4 less as a result of the changes, but the burden of paying for government programs will continue its shift from rich to poor.
Columbus Dispatch: Lawmakers warm to only part of Kasich’s tax plan
Columbus Dispatch: Districts that have lost students face cuts under Kasich plan
Cincinnati Enquirer: Tuition freeze, cheaper textbooks in Kasich’s budget
Today the Governor’s budget proposal goes before the House Finance Committee, who will spend the next month or two holding hearings and making changes before it goes to the Senate.
Want to do your part to advocate for budget policies that actually help? Here are a few things you can do today:
Read the budget materials released by the administration.
Watch testimony by Budget Director Tim Keen, today at 1pm on OhioChannel.org.
Call the office of House Finance Committee Chair Ryan Smith at (614) 466-1366 and ask to received email notifications when Finance committee hearings are scheduled.
Contact your State Representative and let them know what priorities they should fund instead of providing another income tax cut that mainly helps the rich.
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