Ohio Budget 101 gives overview of state budget
Posted December 19, 2022 in Press Releases
In anticipation of Gov. Mike DeWine’s 2024-2025 state budget proposal next month, Policy Matters Ohio is releasing “Ohio Budget 101” to provide advocates, journalists and the general public with an overview of how the state generates revenue, where policymakers have chosen to spend it, and how the people of Ohio can influence the process.
The interactive webpage shows the mix of federal and state funds that make up Ohio’s budget. The state budget process focuses mainly on the General Revenue Fund (GRF), the most flexible pot of money in Ohio’s overall budget. The state sales tax and income tax generate most of the GRF, which contained $74 billion in the 2022-23 state budget. In that budget, 53% went toward public education. The GRF also funds Ohio’s jails, prisons and rehabilitation programs, and a small amount of direct cash assistance to families in need.
“Ohio lawmakers should use our shared resources to do the most good for the most people, across race and place, of every gender, age and ability,” said report author, Policy Matters Communications Manager Ben Stein. “Every two years, our representatives in Columbus have an opportunity to create a state budget that does just that. Their decisions determine how well we can look after the littlest Ohioans and senior citizens, care for people who are sick and those recovering from addiction or mental illness, and help our neighbors get back on their feet in tough times.”
The majority of the GRF comes from the state sales taxes (48%) and state income tax (36%). Since 2005, a group of lawmakers have successfully pushed an agenda that has taken $8 billion a year out of the GRF while increasing inequality by slashing the state income tax, which has given the wealthiest 1% of Ohioans an average annual tax cut of $50,000 a year. Meanwhile, lawmakers have increased the sales tax, which falls harder on the people with the lowest incomes. Households with incomes below $65,000 pay more on average in taxes today than they did in 2005.
“Too often they use their power to try to divide us, pitting rural communities against urban ones, Black communities against white ones, young people against senior citizens — any wedges they can drive to keep us fighting each other while they make out like bandits, and make sure their wealthy donors do too,” Stein said. “But when we speak with one voice and demand the resources we know our communities need, we can have an impact. We hope that by helping more Ohioans understands the state budget, we can better stand together to speak up for our families and neighbors.”