Opinion: Governor Kasich unveils new budget proposal

Jennifer Hutchinson is a political science major. Contact her at [email protected].

Jennifer Huntchinson

Governor John Kasich revealed his new budget proposal last Monday. The two-year plan would focus on substantial tax cuts for small businesses and individuals—these tax breaks being offset by higher taxes on sales, tobacco, drilling, and larger businesses.

Kasich plans to cut personal taxes across all tax brackets by 23 percent over two years. This would decrease the state’s highest personal income tax rate of 5.9 percent to just 4.1 percent.

To make up for lost revenue, Ohio would see a half a cent increase, 6.25 cents on the dollar, on sales tax. This would also apply to previously exempt services, such as cable, lobbying, public relations, etc.

In addition, tobacco taxes would increase by $1.00 — making it $2.25 a pack, commercial activity tax on larger businesses would increase from 0.26 percent to 0.32 percent and severance tax paid on extraction of oil and natural gas could go as high as 6.5 percent. 

However, while some areas will see tax increases under Kasich’s proposals, even more areas will benefit. In addition to smaller businesses and individuals receiving tax breaks, schools will see more than $700 million over the biennium. Over half of the state’s 610 schools will be getting more money.

The budget also proposes greater aid for the mentally ill, addicted, and lower/middle-income working parents. Kasich said the idea is to “mesh help for those ‘in the shadows’ with a sense of ‘personal responsibility’ to improve their lot”

“…What I’d like the legislature to do is if you don’t like what we’ve proposed, tell us what you do propose…” John Kasich commented in the Toledo Blade to critics. He also went on to say,“…Do you want to get rid of the small business tax cut? You want to cut back on the benefits to the working poor so they won’t work harder and get out of being poor? Do you want to say that our (income tax) rates should be high so people will continue to move out of the state?”

Kasich said he was optimistic about the proposal and believes most of it will be enacted.

The governor’s plan is beneficial for all Ohioans. The suggested tax breaks would bring Ohio closer to Kasich’s ultimate goal of zero personal income tax. If Ohio were able to accomplish this, we would be eighth in the nation to do so, according to Politico.

In addition, the low taxes on small companies would make Ohio more attractive to prospective businesses, while aid to lower-income families is suggested to wean them off state-funded programs, making for a good Ohio economy.