February 28, 2015

State of the State in Wilmington

Research Overview

Gov. John Kasich has made Wilmington the site of his fifth State of the State address and has described Wilmington’s story of economic recovery as Ohio’s story of economic recovery.

While unemployment in Wilmington has dropped, it is important to look more closely at the local economic picture and how recent state policies have impacted this quintessential Ohio community.

5 Key Points

Read the full analysis: A Closer Look at How State Policies are Impacting Wilmington

KnowYourCharter.com: Analysis of Proposed Charter Legislation

Yesterday, KnowYourCharter released an analysis on the introduction of charter legislation HB2.  The report gave a general summary of what the bill includes along with a provision-by-provision analysis that gives an in-depth look at the good and the bad of the new legislation on the charter school system.

The report states that this legislation is the start of much needed charter legislation, but there is still much more room for reform.  HB2 begins the necessary steps towards strengthening the laws on charter sponsors to ensure that charter school reform works to benefit Ohio’s students and taxpayers.

In addition to strengthening this reform, KnowYourCharter outlined three core components necessary for real reform:
  1. Accelerate the process for real reform
  2. Ensure that charter schools are subject to the same public records laws and financial accountability standards as any public entity
  3. Fund charters in a way that does not penalize local public schools

You can view the entire analysis here and find more information on  The Ohio Charter School Accountability Project by visiting the KnowYourCharter website.

 

Legislators seek reversal of Kasich plan to end Medicaid for pregnant women

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State Rep. Sykes speaks about Kasich proposals that could undermine efforts to lower Ohio’s infant mortality rates.

Today, Ohio lawmakers joined with advocates for women’s healthcare to hold a press conference calling for a reversal of policies proposed in the Kasich budget that they say could worsen Ohio’s infant mortality epidemic.

Ohio has one of the highest rates of infant mortality — the number of babies who do not reach their first birthday — in the country, 30% above the national average. The Governor’s proposed budget highlights efforts aimed at addressing the problem, including $13.4 million to connect women in high risk neighborhood with prenatal care. But the budget also contains a number of measures that legislators and advocates say will make the problem worse. [Read more…]

Budget Briefing: Proposals Impacting Women

Governor Kasich’s 2-year budget contains a number of policies that could impact Ohio women.

The good: the budget contains additional funding for child care, preschool and maternal health and funds training for public colleges and universities to deal with sexual assaults.

The bad: the budget makes low-income women pay more for Medicaid coverage, forces many women who become pregnant or are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer to shop for insurance in the private market, and threatens the employment of thousands of women employed as independent home health care providers. And the proposed tax changes benefit the wealthy while raising taxes on the lowest-income Ohioans, the majority of whom are women.

View our latest budget briefing to see some of the ways Kasich’s proposals could impact the women of Ohio.

Budget Briefing: Funding Impacts of Charter Schools

With a very modest net increase in school funding overall, just 301 school districts — fewer than half —  are expected to see an increase in Gov. John Kasich’s proposed state budget. However, when factoring in the cost of charter schools on local school districts, one in three of those districts will see their proposed funding increases erased.

In our latest budget briefing, we break down the impacts of charter school funding on each district and show that even fewer school districts then were originally suggested will see funding increases as result of Gov. Kasich’s education funding plan.

Download the briefing and district-by-district table to see what the impacts are to your local school district:

Budget Briefing: K-12 Education Highlights

Governor Kasich’s budget proposal adds $700 million to schools, but the amount is offset by cuts in reimbursements for lost taxes and increased deductions for charter schools.

Key points:

  • Despite a record-sized budget of $72 billion, the net increase in education spending is just $464 million, which is below inflationary levels.
  • More than half of Ohio school districts will see less direct state aid in 2016 than they received last year.
  • 55% of Ohio school districts will receive less money now than they did six years ago.
Download our briefing on K-12 education proposals in the Kasich budget.

Ohio Tax Code Becoming More Regressive

Yesterday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich unveiled his latest two-year budget proposal, featuring a large cut in the state income tax, paid for with increased taxes on everyday purchases, on business activity and on oil and gas extraction.

This is not the first time Kasich has proposed cutting the state income tax — the state’s most progressive tax. The tax is designed so those at the top income level pay the highest rate. The state’s estate tax on inherited wealth was eliminated completely in the Governor’s first budget.

To pay for these tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy, the Governor’s budget proposes raising the state’s regressive sales tax and expanding it to more services — including parking and cable TV subscriptions.

People with low-incomes spend much of their income on things that are taxed. As a result, they pay a much larger share of their income on taxes in states with regressive tax systems that rely heavily on sales taxes to fund state spending. According to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, the poorest 20% of Ohioans pay nearly 12 percent of their income on state and local taxes, compared to just 5.5% paid by the top 1%.

We crunched the numbers, and here’s how dramatic the shift has been in just six years.

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Combined, the state’s income and estate taxes have declined from 45% of state general revenue to just 28%. At the same time, sales taxes have increased from 43% to 53% and now picks up the largest share of the cost of state government.

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sales Tax 42.6% 40.2% 45.5% 47.2% 52.0% 53.3%
Income & Estate Taxes 44.7% 45.7% 40.3% 39.2% 29.2% 27.6%
Other Taxes 12.7% 14.1% 14.2% 13.6% 19.0% 18.9%

Innovation Ohio Budget Briefing

Initial thoughts from Innovation Ohio President Keary McCarthy on yesterday’s state budget proposal.

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Budget Proposal Favors Those At The Top, But Leaves More And More Ohioans Behind

  • Tax shift hasn’t worked. Since 2005, Ohio has repeatedly tried shifting taxes from the wealthy to everyone else in hopes of creating jobs. We have over 80,000 fewer jobs than we did a decade ago, meanwhile poverty is up and median income has fallen.
  • From one pocket to another. The proposed budget raises taxes on working Ohioans and businesses by $5.2 billion, to pay for a $5.7 billion income-tax cut that largely benefits those at the top.
  • Those who can afford it the least pay more. Decreasing Ohio’s progressive income tax and increasing the regressive sales tax means that those who can afford it the least now have to pay more.

[Read more…]

Ohio House Priority Legislation Includes Pro-Women Bill

The Ohio House introduced House Bill 6 among its priority legislation last Wednesday. This bill extends the statute of limitations on the prosecution of rape and sexual battery cases. Yesterday, the same proposal was in the Senate in the form of Senate Bill 13.

Since Attorney General Mike DeWine launched the Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative in 2011, law enforcement agencies have been forwarding old DNA samples for testing. However, due to the 20 year statute of limitations, many sexual offenders are escaping prosecution. If passed, HB 6 or SB 13 would extend the statute of limitations to allow the prosecution of a sexual offender once the result of the DNA analysis is confirmed, rather than when the crime occurred.

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This proposal was introduced as Senate Bill 324 during the last General Assembly, but failed to emerge from the Criminal Justice Committee.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, committee chair John Eklund opposed the bill, which may have prevented the bill from coming to a vote. Eklund retains his chairmanship in the new General Assembly, and may remain an obstacle in the Senate. However, the inclusion of HB 6 in the House’s package of priority bills, may signal that it will pass through that chamber effortlessly.

As always, a complete list of Ohio legislation impacting women can be found on our Women’s Watch page. We will add information and analysis on bills as they emerge during the 2015-2016 legislative session. Follow Ohio Women’s Watch on Twitter and Facebook to receive updates and alerts on legislative action.

More tax shifting that favors those at the very top?

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In advance of the release of his budget proposal, Governor Kasich is touting his new tax plan to eliminate income taxes on certain business profits.

Individuals who report profits as income from certain types of corporations and partnerships — some of them passive investors and many living out of state — will see their state income tax liability drop to ZERO.

But to allow him to claim his policies help everyone, Kasich also announced an increase in the personal exemption for Ohioans earning less than $80,000 per year. Sounds fair, right?

Not so fast…

The $1,800 increase in the exemption for workers making $40,000 reduces tax liability by $57 a year — about a $1.00 a week — or 6 percent of the worker’s overall tax bill.  And the proposed $900 increase in the exemption for someone earning $80,000 reduces their tax bill by $34 a year — .65 cents a week — or 1.4 percent.

The bottom line is this: If you work for a living, your taxes will go down by 6%. If you profit from the work of others, your taxes go down by 100%.