Connecting the dots

Policy Matters Ohio - May 14, 2012

Connect the dots – A 5 percent tax on oil and gas drilling by “fracking” could generate $1.8 billion in new revenue for Ohio over four years. An additional 2.5 percent could raise $900 million more. Match each individual or group (1-3) with their position on the best way to tax fracking (a-c).
1)    Policy Matters, researching ways to make sure the economy works for all
2)    Ohio Gov. John Kasich
3)    The leadership of the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives
a)     Tax those frackers and use the money to cut income taxes in a way that favors Ohio’s wealthiest.
b)    Just say no – raising taxes on anyone, anytime, is a bad idea, regardless of needs created by billions in state tax cuts over the past dozen years.
c)     Use revenue from this “severance tax” to protect impacted communities, take care of the environment, and build a stronger post-boom Ohio.
Who’s proposing what? What should responsible policymakers do? For the correct answers, see our latest report: Taxing Fracking.
We’re No. 3 – Not normally something to shout about, but this time we’re talking about the fact that Ohio is home to the third largest number of manufacturing jobs of any state, according to the Brookings Institution’s new report, Locating American Manufacturing: Trends in the Geography of Production. Specialization in Ohio means the state is well positioned to build its manufacturing strength, but it will take smart, high-road policy. Susan Helper, Case professor and Policy Matters board member, and Tim Krueger, our whip-smart research assistant, co-authored the report with Howard Wial from Brookings. The release got lots of media attention, including this piece in the Dayton Daily News.
Dirty and wasteful – Not our words, but the title of this recent editorial in the Akron Beacon Journal captured the gist of our recent report, subtitled A picture worth $7 million a year? on a photo voter ID bill the Ohio legislature is considering. The editorial described these kinds of efforts to suppress voters as dirty politics at their worst, and a waste of money too.
Emerald Cities – Reduce energy use in city- and county-owned buildings. Cut taxpayers’ long-term energy bills. Create good jobs in energy retrofit work for local residents. Loree Soggs of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades, Julian Rogers of Cuyahoga County Council, and Shanelle Smith of Emerald Cities teamed up to write this great op-ed in the Plain Dealer.
Making our voice heard – Pam Rosado submitted testimony based on our voter ID research to U.S senators Dick Durbin and Sherrod Brown, who held a field hearing in Cleveland. Hannah Halbert presented testimony to an Ohio House committee on how work sharing can prevent layoffs and benefit employers. Wendy Patton testified before the Senate Finance committee on the Mid-Biennium Review and the budget corrections bill.
Coming soon – Analysis of two surveys and a policy review make it clear that if American families are to meet their own needs, we will have to ensure that either work or policy does more to bring about opportunity and security. New report due out this week.

Thanks from Amy Hanauer and the Policy Matters team.

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