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News & Notes, February 17, 2014

News: Local Colleges seek $50million for major projects, Dayton Daily News Notes: The Governor will likely release the Capital Budget in the next week or two. This bill will primarily use debt finance bonds to fund infrastructure and building projects. Ohio’s colleges have decided how they will divide $400 million over the next two years. While the capital budget offers some needed investments, it is a fairly small budget compared to the overall general operation budget. News

News & Notes February 13, 2014

This is our (light-hearted) take on the new severance tax proposal that may receive a vote next week. #News

News & Notes February 12, 2014

News: Listen and Learn, Akron Beacon Journal Notes: We should set a goal that kids will be able to read by the third grade. However, punitive actions are not the right approach when we are underfunding school districts that teach the kids. We need to increase the availability of tutors, reading specialists, and reading enrichment programs in the early years to help kids gain the foundational skills for education. Ohioans have a choice – invest in Ohio’s children or another in

News & Notes February 11, 2014

News: Cleveland-area administrators voice opinions, concerns about Third Grade Reading Guarantee, Plain Dealer Notes: Should most third graders be able to read at a 3rd grade level? Yes. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s research shows this is a key component to long-term academic success. The question is how do we get there? The Governor and legislature utilize a stick and carrot approach – pass or be retained. Instead, we should adopt policies that invest in reading specialis

News & Notes, February 10, 2014

News: E.J. Dionne commentary: Discredited economic theory is at root of gridlock, Columbus Dispatch Notes: Many theories exist on how the government should be involved with the economy. In Ohio, we continue to hear a mantra for more income tax cuts to improve the economy – even though these strategies have not created jobs. We need to invest in a high quality of life, a social safety net and economic stability during recessions. As Dionne highlights, some economic theories ar

News & Notes February 5, 2014

News: Life without a hub, Akron Beacon Journal Notes: Many of us have used the United hub at Cleveland Hopkins, and its closure will impact the options for air travel in the region. The Akron Beacon Journal points out what the region should do moving forward: “The smart response focuses on enhancing local strengths, and securing the foundation of any regional economy, a well-equipped work force, responsive government and sound public works. An airline hub has value. It isn’t

News & Notes February 4, 2014

News: Fracking Prospects, Columbus Dispatch Notes: The Ohio Severance Tax remains too low – even the Columbus Dispatch calls on drillers to pay their fair share. The Dispatch Editorial board points out the increased sales tax revenue generated in the counties with heavy drilling activity, but ignore the increased costs that cities, townships, and counties. Yes, some of the companies will widen and pave a gravel road now – but the long-term maintenance falls on local communiti

News & Notes January 27, 2014

News: Troubled Waters, Columbus Dispatch Notes:The recent water contamination in West Virginia should lead Ohio’s leaders to ask how we can prevent similar harms here. With the increase fracking activity in Ohio, we need appropriate government regulations and resources for prevention, remedying, and improving our communities in the event of a tragedy. HB 375 – a proposed severance tax increase – currently doesn’t account for long term impacts and doesn’t generate enough reven

News & Notes January 23, 2014

News: Ohio House planning Changes to Fracking-Tax Bill, Columbus Dispatch Notes: Close to 20 witnesses testified yesterday that they would like to see public investment from an increased severance tax on fracking in Ohio. Many witnesses testified that they would like to see dollars invested into local governments impacted by drilling, long-term economic development plans made, and environmental concerns addressed. Liberals and conservatives testified that state public investm

News & Notes January 22, 2014

News: Liberty Trustees to discuss Road Tax, Youngstown Vindicator Notes:  The state of Ohio continues to cut resources for local government. The 2013 tax cuts were funded primarily by making these cuts permanent and by raising Ohio’s sales tax.  Regressive taxes (like sales and property)  shift the tax load from the wealthy to low and middle income individuals. Ohioans are seeing a tax shift, not tax cuts. News: The widening gap between rich and poor, Cincinnati Enquirer Note

News & Notes January 15, 2014

News: Drilling-tax proposal’s effects on state revenue are unclear, tax commissioner says. Columbus Dispatch Notes: Tax Commissioner Joe Testa agrees with the Legislative Services Commission that we cannot accurately predict new revenues from HB 375 – the severance tax proposal, because many factors and variables remain unclear. While the revenue side remains unclear, Policy Matters Ohio estimates that, as a result of tax credits and new exemptions, the state could lose about

News & Notes January 14, 2014

News: Sales Taxes hurt the Poor, Speakers Say, Youngstown Vindicator Notes: Mahoning County is debating whether or not to raise the county sales tax to fund public services. They are dealing with repeated cuts of state support for local government services and continue to scramble to find revenue, and can only raise revenue through regressive taxes such as sales or property. Local advocates are concerned that low income people are paying more than their fair share in Ohio, wh

News & Notes January 13, 2014

News: Senate Leaders Look ahead to 2014. NPR Statehouse News Bureau Notes: Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D- Boardman) wants to see more state investment in schools, specific industries, training and communities. He highlights that potential revenue from an increased severance tax on oil and natural gas drillers as the revenue source. Senate President Keith Faber (R- Celina) highlights a desire for more income tax rate cuts with the continued belief that this will crea

News & Notes January 9, 2014

Fracking Officials Support GOP plan to Revamp taxes, Youngstown Vindicator News: State Fracking Revenue May Not Bring Tax-Cut Gusher, Columbus Dispatch News: Industry Lobbyist Pushes Revised Ohio Drilling Tax, Dayton Daily News News: Ohio oil and gas group oppose higher tax, Toledo Blade Notes:  According to the Ohio Legislative Services Commission, the industry-backed tax proposal on oil and gas drilling will not produce substantial revenues for the state. As a result of new

News & Notes January 8, 2014

Thomas Sowell commentary: Trickle-down economics is a figment of liberal imaginations, Columbus Dispatch Notes: Our Governor and legislative leaders may not be using the term “trickle-down economics,” but they openly and consistently advocate for tax changes that benefit the wealthiest Ohioans the most while promising jobs and economic growth for everyone. Unfortunately we haven’t seen the jobs and economic growth for everyone, and instead Ohio’s cut billions of dollars from

News & Notes January 7, 2014

News: Two Classes of Seniors, Akron Beacon Journal Notes: Tax reform should embrace fairness. It is not fair to give a millionaire a tax break on their home property taxes just because he is 6 months older than his neighbor. The Homestead exemption is designed to help low and moderate income seniors remain in their homes during retirement without concern over rising property tax values. We need it to effectively target the low and moderate income populations and continue to b

News & Notes January 2, 2014

News: Jobs, taxes, health care all key statehouse issues from 2013 and likely to remain in the forefront for 2014, Cleveland Plain Dealer Notes: Tax and budget policy were center-stage in Ohio for much of 2013 and they will remain there in 2014 with the Mid-Biennium Review (MBR), the Capital Budget, and another push on the failed policy of tax cuts. In 2014, we hope that the legislature will invest in Ohio’s future and not more tax cuts for the wealthiest Ohioans. News: Gover

News & Notes December 30, 2013

News: Ohio is Going in the Right Direction, Youngstown Vindicator Notes: Do you agree or not? Governor Kasich makes a pitch that cutting taxes has moved Ohio in the right direction. While trumpeting Lake Erie, Ohio schools, colleges, and neighborhoods, he advocates for more income tax cuts. Ohio cut the income tax by 21% in 2005, and another 10% in 2013. We have tried this strategy, and it has failed for Ohioans. These tax cuts have not stimulated the economy – leaving Ohio w

News & Notes December 27, 2013

Instead of using speculative revenue from a severance tax increase to pay for a tax cut for the wealthiest Ohioans, Ohio should invest in efforts such as expanding college assistance, affordable preschool options, public safety, and equitable and adequate funding for our public schools. #News