Ohio needs investment, cuts in costly tax breaks
Posted June 06, 2017 in Press Releases
Policy Matters Ohio told the Senate Finance Committee today that the state needs more resources for education, health care and communities instead of the underinvestment in the two-year state budget approved by the House of Representatives.
“We need a different approach to tax policy to make needed investments,” said Policy Matters Research Director Zach Schiller in testimony to the committee. He noted that the General Assembly has enacted $3 billion a year in tax cuts since 2005, much of which has gone to affluent Ohioans in income-tax reductions.
Policy Matters applauded the $170 million in the House budget to combat the drug epidemic, but outlined a host of areas that need more support, including seniors’ services, child care, higher education and aid to local governments. The organization recommended four key measures that should be included in the Senate budget:
- Repeal a new tax break for business owners, which costs $1 billion a year, and like other income-tax cuts has not resulted in superior job growth.
- Maintain Medicaid expansion without premiums and other barriers to health care, like work requirements, which hurt the poorest and the sickest the most. The Senate should ensure funding for Medicaid by removing Controlling Board oversight of Medicaid funds included in the House budget.
- Replace the $200 million a year public transit agencies and counties lose starting in 2019 because of changes to the state sales tax.
- Increase funding for school districts. At a minimum, schools need funding to keep up with inflation.
“We are overdue for investment in communities, opportunities for children and infrastructure needed by businesses and individuals alike,” Schiller said.