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News & Notes January 15, 2014

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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 $800 million from the General Revenue Fund over the next 10 years. Supporters of the legislation do not dispute this estimate. 

News: Failure To Launch, Columbus Dispatch Notes: Ohio’s public schools have lost billions of dollars as a result of tax changes in 2005 and promises from the state not kept. In addition to these losses, local school districts are required by state law to transfer resources to charter schools. We need to invest in great public schools and not re-allocate resources to fund failed profit-making charter schools that last less than 3 months. 

News: How Can We Balance the National Budget, Cincinnati Enquirer Notes: Budget and tax policy in Ohio in interconnected with local and national budget and tax policy as well. Recently, Ohio policymakers backed an idea for a federal constitutional amendment requiring a national balanced budget. This guest columnist agrees that balanced budgets are preferable, but asks whether or not Ohio taxpayers and policymakers would want to see dramatic cuts to public services, national security, and other programs or see their taxes go up. 

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