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  • Nick Bates

Support for a Tax!? Sort of.

The Columbus Dispatch has a story today about Ohioans polled regarding their support for a severance/income tax swap.  For those of you that aren’t quite as wonky as most of the people I hang around – the swap is Governor Kasich’s proposal to increase the tax on oil and gas drilling in Eastern Ohio (the “fracking” or simply “frack” tax you may have heard about) and then use that new revenue to pay for an income tax cut.

But the part of the article that really jumped out to me was that Ohioans are for the oil and gas drilling tax, even without the income tax cut, by 2o points (were italics and then bold too much for you to handle?).  So, after over 30 years of anti-tax rhetoric, it’s nice to see that Ohioans – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – all are in favor of raising taxes at least sometimes.  That’s something to build from, although we still have a long way to go in educating folks.

Policy Matters Ohio has certainly been doing their part to increase education.  This report from March shows how little most Ohioans would get in the swap.  Because our income tax is progressive, the wealthiest Ohioans would benefit by far the most from an across the board reduction, while most of us wouldn’t even be able to fill up our gas tanks.

Our coalition, One Ohio Now, has long been calling for a balanced approach to balancing the budget – to look at both income and expenses.  So, seeing public support for a tax, even one that seems so clear cut as reasonable and necessary, is notable.  Now, if we can just get the Governor and legislature in line with Ohioans’ feelings about the need for big corporations and rich Ohioans to pay their fair share, maybe we can restore the billions in cuts made to public education, local government, and more (a guy can dream, right?).

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