We’re all for turning the screws on expenses, and agree that politicians are good at putting off until tomorrow tough, often unpopular decisions that should have been made yesterday. We also believe tax hikes should not be the primary tool for whittling down the state’s big budget deficit. However, we can’t buy lopping expenses as the sole solution to the budget problem. Serious consequences await cities and schools because of the governor’s ploy of closing the budget gap in part by cutting their state allocations — an act that simply pushes the pain down to the local level. We maintain Gov. Kasich can afford to take some of the pressure off these local entities, yet not compromise Ohio’s competitive position, with a small increase in the commercial activity tax (CAT) rate.We’ve said many times in the past that there should be a balanced approach to erasing Ohio’s deficit; that there should be shared sacrifice, with the wealthy being asked to do their part. Trying to balance the budget through cuts alone will be devastating, not only because education is key to Ohio’s long-term competitiveness and the creation of good-paying long term jobs, but also because it will simply shift the burden to local taxpayers who will be forced to raise taxes to offset the cuts. Apparently the pro-business Crain’s agrees.
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