What you need to know about Ohio Politics and Policy
· July 14, 2011
Kasich’s budget office confirms IO’s report: There was never an $8 billion hole
On Tuesday, the Office of Budget and Management released the monthly financial report for June. In it, OBM validated what Innovation Ohio reported last month: Governor Kasich’s frequent claim that the state faced an $8 billion dollar deficit was never true. The report indicates that in fiscal year 2011, which ended June 30, the state collected nearly $1 billion ($973 million to be exact) more revenue than was forecast, reducing the gap between actual expenditures in the last two-year budget and available revenue in the upcoming biennium.
The OBM report validates our claim that through increased revenue in fiscal year 2011, better-than-expected revenue growth in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and the availability of new sources of one-time money, the actual gap that budget-writers faced was closer to $5.1 billion, not $8 billion.
Since 2009, Kasich and Ohio Republicans have repeated the dubious claim that the state faced an $8 billion hole in the upcoming budget, justifying draconian cuts to schools and local governments and then ramming Senate Bill 5 through the General Assembly as a “tool” to ease the pain at the local level by eliminating workers’ collective bargaining rights.
After IO’s report came out showing that the gap was much lower than previously claimed, and FY 2011 revenues were outperforming estimates, Kasich and the Legislature chose to pass a dubious new tax credit for millionaires and deposit the remainder in the State’s rainy day fund rather than ease the pain they had created at the local level.