Check this page for ongoing analysis of proposals and changes as the Ohio General Assembly debates a biennial budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.
Tax breaks grow in new Ohio budget, August 8, 2013The Ohio General Assembly’s recently approved budget adds eight new tax breaks while getting rid of only four, and overall increased tax expenditures by several hundred million dollars a year. Revenue from the closed or reduced exemptions that could have been used to bolster needed public services instead was used to support reductions in the income tax. Tax plan still rewards affluent, leaves some of poorest Ohioans paying more, June 26, 2013Last-minute tweaks in the tax plan put forward by Ohio House and Senate Republicans do not significantly change its impact for different income groups. The plan still will reward Ohio’s most affluent with average annual tax cuts of more than $6,000 a year, while low-income Ohioans will pay slightly more. Patton testifies before Senate Ways and Means Committee on HB 59 tax plan, June 24, 2013The new tax proposal put forward as a part of the state budget will shift the tax load from affluent to lower- and middle-income taxpayers, while reducing Ohio’s ability to invest in its people. Breaking Bad: Ohio tax breaks escape scrutiny, June 17, 2013The Ohio General Assembly soon will approve a new two-year state budget. But so far, instead of closely reviewing the 129 tax exemptions, deductions and credits that reduce the amount of revenue the state would otherwise receive, it is adding to them. Schiller testifies before Senate Finance Committee on HB 59, May 30, 2013This bill does not address the tax issues most important in Ohio right now: to ensure that the state has the revenue it needs for crucial investments in its future, to meet principles of simplicity, and to create a broad tax base.
From June 2005, when the tax-cut phase-in began, to March 2013, Ohio lost 4.4 percent of its jobs, while the U.S. as a whole added 1.2 percent. During this time, Ohio has seen the fourth-worst job growth among states, losing 238,000 jobs.
Overview: Ohio’s 2014-15 Budget, October 3, 2013The new state budget grows the General Revenue Fund by $4.5 billion over two years, but did not restore key investments to 2010-11 levels. It also cut taxes by $1.9 billion, shifting taxation from the affluent to those with less income, and making it harder to adequately fund critical services. Three blows to local government: Loss in state aid, estate tax, property tax rollback, July 24, 2013We can expect to see continued loss of local services, from dimmed streetlights to closed pools, curtailed senior services and furloughed police and firefighters. This hurts families and may erode property values. Instead we should support localities and boost the Ohio economy. House Bill 59 passes the Senate, heads for conference committee, June 11, 2013There have been significant policy changes since the governor introduced his budget proposal on February 4, most notably the elimination of Medicaid expansion, but the budget has otherwise remained in remarkably stable condition as it moved through the General Assembly. Survey shows: Ohio shrinks its schools, April 29, 2013A large majority of Ohio school districts report that they have cut or frozen salaries and benefits, laid off staff, and cut back on classroom materials and supplies to deal with the loss of state funding since 2011. Students in many districts are facing larger class sizes, reduced course offerings, and an increase in “pay-to-play” requirements for extra-curricular activities. Overview of Ohio budget proposal, March 28, 2013The windfall from Medicaid expansion, the slightly improved economy, and the state’s continued use of funds historically shared with local governments and schools all help fund a modest restoration under this proposal. But too much of the new money is being directed to income tax cuts that go primarily to the wealthiest. More research on Ohio budget policy in the 2014-15 biennial budget
Medicaid expansion is good for Ohio, October 21, 2013The state Controlling Board’s decision today to grant appropriation authority means that 366,000 low-income workers in Ohio will now be able to see a doctor for preventive care. This will help reduce health-care costs as more Ohioans live healthier, more productive lives. New federal rule highlights importance of Medicaid expansion for Ohio, May 21, 2013The new rule means that if Ohio doesn’t expand Medicaid, in 2014 Ohio’s safety net hospitals could lose more than $23 million in federal aid for the treatment of patients without insurance. Medicaid Works: Good outcomes, good for Ohio, May 16, 2013Ohio legislators have taken Medicaid expansion out of the budget, but keep talking about it. That’s good, because expanding Medicaid would be good for Ohio and good for Ohioans. In this issue brief, we look at studies of Medicaid quality. Mothers and Medicaid: Expanded health coverage would help Ohio families, May 13, 2013Approving a budget that expands Medicaid to 153,000 low-income working women, and others, will help mothers and babies get healthier in Ohio. As a result, families, communities, and our economy will grow stronger. More research on Medicaid expansion
Federal Sequester Keeps Hitting Ohio, June 18, 2013Across-the-board federal cuts will take $284 million out of Ohio’s budget in 2013. These cuts mean furloughed defense workers, cuts to social services, reductions to public health programs for teens and seniors alike, and ongoing loss of Head Start slots for preschoolers. Sequestration cuts benefits to Ohio unemployed, April 30, 2013Thousands of unemployed Ohioans will feel the effects of federal sequestration budget cuts through a reduction in their weekly unemployment compensation checks. Unemployed Ohioans are expected to see $25 million less in benefits between now and the end of the federal fiscal year Sept. 30. Sequester cuts begin: Housing, Head Start, economic development and air shows, April 15, 2013Automatic cuts in federal funding are already being reported across the state, hitting everything from NASA to Head Start. As the General Assembly considers the state budget, ways in which the state can help stem the growing damage from federal budget cuts should be included in the debate. Damage from the sequester, February 27, 2013The sequester will now cost Ohio about $187 million in federal funds this year.
Selected media coverage
Liberal groups debate GOP on tax cuts, March 13, 2013 Breaking down the tax shift in the budget, March 8, 2013 Tax strategy and Ohio's budget, March 6, 2013 Kasich’s tax plan rewards rich, starves public services, March 3, 2013 Growth factors, February 24, 2013
Studies question tax-cut links to new jobs, February 17, 2013
Ohio's proposed tax changes could mean higher tax bills for some, February 11, 2013
Liberal Think Tank Attacks Tax Hikes In Governor’s Proposed Budget, February 7, 2013
Governor Kasich’s New School Funding Plan, February 4, 2013