The good, the bad and the green

Policy Matters Ohio - April 22, 2012

One step forward, two steps back – Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s proposed Financial Institutions Tax would deprive the state of much-needed revenue by lowering tax rates for the biggest banking institutions in the state, according to our recent analysis. The proposal would cut loopholes that have allowed big, multistate banks to legally avoid taxes – a good thing. But the bill is too costly and would slow recovery. The Ohio Bankers League recently told an Ohio House committee that the industry is “flush with cash.” What could we do with this money rather than give it to big banks? Combat the foreclosure crisis; restore essential services; invest in education: the list goes on. Wendy Patton testified on this issue before the Ways and Means Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives.

One tax credit we like – This fact sheet describes how a state Earned Income Tax Credit could benefit working families in Ohio. Set at 10 percent of the federal credit, a state credit would cost Ohio just $210 million, would benefit 949,692 of Ohio’s low-income working families with children, and providing them with a modest but helpful $221 each. Twenty-four states have such credits; Ohio should follow suit. A Toledo Blade editorial called our idea “good policy” that “would reward poor families for working and give them a boost out of poverty.”

Mixed messages – Our latest JobWatch found that Ohio’s unemployment rate fell slightly in March to 7.5 percent, while a separate survey of employers suggested that the big job gains seen in January and February may be ending. Revisions to March’s data are likely, but we’re still looking at four years to get back to pre-recession employment levels.

The green place to be – Want to help build coalitions that will move America forward to a cleaner, greener and more prosperous economy? Then head to Detroit on May 10 and 11 for BlueGreen Alliance’s Good Jobs, Green Jobs Midwestern Regional Conference, which will bring together thousands of labor, environmental, business, elected and community leaders working for a better economic and environmental future.

Status check – On Sunday, the Plain Dealer’s “Talk with the Boss” series featured our favorite head honcho, Amy Hanauer. Read it and learn about the brain behind Policy Matters and how we got our start. And the Twenty-Thirty Club of Cleveland just recognized our David Rothstein as an up-and-coming leader worthy of one of their “Top 25 under 35 Movers & Shakers” awards. Well-deserved and much-appreciated recognition.

Thanks from Amy Hanauer and the Policy Matters team.
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