The Governor’s Proposed Budget: Initial Reactions
– Income tax cuts haven’t brought the promised jobs and growth since 2005, so why do we expect them to work now? The 21% cut in ’05 gave $10,000 to the top 1% and only $182 to to middle-income Ohioans on average. Plus, less revenue meant major cuts to K-12 education, local governments and more.
– Medicaid expansion is in the budget, and that is great news. The Governor should be applauded for making the right decision for Ohio’s future. Medicaid expansion will provide care for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans, create jobs, and raise revenue over the next decade.
– The income tax giveaway – the wealthy will benefit the most just like in ’05 – is paid for largely be expanding the sales tax. Many loopholes – like those that favor attorneys and accountants who don’t have to pay the tax currently – make sense to close. But, credits or changes will be needed because, as proposed, Ohio’s middle and working class families are simply carrying more water for the wealthy. This is a tax shift in the wrong direction.
– A bad trade of severance tax (on oil and gas drilling) for income tax is also in the proposed budget. We agree with the Governor that we need more revenue and that oil and gas drillers should pay more. In fact, we think the proposal doesn’t go far enough (Ohio would still have the 2nd lowest rate in the country). Severance tax revenue is needed to help impacted local communities, and now is the time to be investing and restoring our services that position Ohio for the future – K-12 education, local governments, health and human services and more are all in need.
– We are talking about investment because, by and large, this budget does very little to make up for the historic cuts we saw in the current budget. The recession is easing. The economy is getting better. We should be investing in our communities to amplify the improvements and make sure everyone in Ohio benefits.
We expect the full budget to be released any day, and we’ll be posting again as we have more information.