Do We Have Enough?
One Ohio Now’s State Director, Gavin DeVore Leonard, testified on May 1st in the Ohio House of Representatives Committee on Ways & Means. The committee has asked for ideas and proposals that, “promote a stronger Ohio economy that would contribute to tax policy principles of simplicity, fairness, broad bases, as well as ease of compliance and administration.” This was the first of what may be many hearings to address how our state funds great public services that lead to stronger communities.
During his testimony, Gavin suggested to the committee that, “we have enough resources and enough wealth in Ohio to meet the needs of the people who live here and who want to have a great quality of life. We can afford world-class schools, well-maintained roads, verdant parks, responsive emergency services, and more. But the box we’ve built – the size and scope of the state budget itself, but more importantly our mental construct about what resources we have – is holding us back. We’ve bought into the idea that there isn’t enough money to fund things fully, and for the most part we don’t even try.”
As this conversation continues, all Ohioans need to think about what we value as a state. Do we like having fire and police departments, schools, well-maintained roads, and social service programs to help those who have fallen on difficult times? Its not about expanding or limiting government, instead it is about making sure that all families have access to a great library, all kids have access to a good school, and all of us have access to safe communities. Instead of measuring tax reform on whether it cuts overall taxes or raises them, lets measure any tax reform proposal on if its fair, just, and meets the needs of great public services that lead to stronger communities.