A Lot To Consider With Governor's Budget Plan
By Rep. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville)
March 15, 2013
[ Brian Hill Home | Brian Hill Press ]

Of all the important issues that come before the state legislature, probably none receive as much attention as the governor’s budget plan. The plan, this year contained in House Bill 59, lays out the funding priorities in Ohio for the next two years. It is currently being examined and debated in the House Finance and Appropriations Committee.

While the governor’s budget covers a wide range of topics, right now I would like to focus on three.

Governor Kasich has laid out an ambitious plan to fund Ohio’s schools. Among other things, it guarantees that no school districts will receive less state funding than they did last year. The governor has also stated that he wants to build upon some of the initiatives that were passed during the previous General Assembly, such as the third grade reading guarantee and the A-F report card.

Tax Reform
Along with cutting income taxes on individuals by 20 percent over three years, the governor’s proposal allows the deduction of 50 percent of income (up to $375,000) for small businesses. He also proposed lowering the state sales tax from 5.5 percent to 5.0 percent. To make up for lost sales tax revenue, he proposed expanding the reach of the sales tax to include more services. During committee testimony, Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa said broadening the sales tax base would make up for any revenue lost from lowering the rate.

Everything comes back to jobs. Education, smart tax policy and a strong infrastructure all make it easier for businesses to thrive here in Ohio. Much of the governor’s plan to continue growing the jobs market is to repair the state’s lagging infrastructure, namely the highway system, by using bonds from the Ohio Turnpike. While most of the money collected from turnpike tolls will fund transportation projects in northern Ohio, ODOT will have more freedom to use gas tax revenue and federal funds for projects in southern Ohio.

I commend the governor and his staff for their innovative ideas to keep Ohio heading in the right direction. I will continue to update you on other issues related to the budget in the future. Throughout the budget process, I look forward to hearing from the people of Guernsey and Muskingum counties about your concerns with the state’s budget.


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