Have Some Pizza

- March 4, 2014

In this eNews: How much pizza you’d be able to buy with your tax cut; state policy can help our communities thrive; tax-dodging Ohio companies; inequality; tax cuts and weak growth; wrapping the community around our schools; Policy Matters is hiring a development manager.

Let them eat pizza – An across-the-board cut in income tax rates like the reduction proposed by Gov. Kasich in his State of the State speech may allow low-income Ohioans to buy a slice of pizza a year, on average. Those in the middle could purchase a pizza maker, while the state’s most affluent taxpayers could use their cut to go on a round-trip for two to Florence, with money left over to pay the hotel bill and buy some real Italian pizza.

Help us thrive – What happens in Columbus can determine whether Ohio communities thrive or struggle. State policy should support local public services for vibrant neighborhoods, good schools and rising property values. Check out the latest in a series of policy briefs that pulls together our recommendations to build an Ohio economy that works for everyone.

Ohio Dodgers – Two Ohio companies – American Electric Power and FirstEnergy – were among the 26 major companies that in the aggregate paid no federal income tax between 2008 and 2012, according to this study on corporate tax dodgers by Citizens for Tax Justice. Most companies included in the study aren’t paying anywhere near the statutory 35 percent tax rate. We need to close corporate tax loopholes and ensure that firms are paying their share for the schools, roads, courts, law enforcement and other public structures that are essential to enabling companies to make a profit.

Unequal and getting worse – Widening income inequality has hit the U.S. and Ohio, according to a new state-by-state analysis from the Economic Analysis and Research Network, using never-before-available data. Inflation-adjusted incomes of the top 1 percent of Ohio taxpayers grew 70 percent between 1979 and 2011, but the average real income for the rest fell 7.7 percent.

Tax cuts, weak growth – After the General Assembly raised the top income-tax rate to 7.5 percent in 1992 the state generated more than 100,000 jobs in each of the following three years. Compare that with the 25,600 jobs Ohio gained during 2013, the 40,300 in 2012, and the 77,600 in 2011. Our message to the Ohio Senate last week: Tax levels are not the main thing driving job growth, and tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the most affluent Ohioans are especially inappropriate in light of growing inequality.

Wraparound – Policy Matters is hosting two discussions about the efforts of the Cleveland school district and the United Way to develop 17 community-centered schools that can better meet the needs of students, families and neighborhoods. We’re bringing advocates and leaders from D.C., Cincinnati, and our local communities to the City Club on March 13.Click here for more information.

Join our team – Policy Matters is looking to hire a dynamic, outgoing development manager to carry out our fundraising plan, build our individual donor program, manage grants and help our executive director increase revenue. Responsibilities and requirements are on our website. Join a crew that wakes up every day ready to fight for a better economy!

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