The “what John Kasich doesn’t understand about Ohio state government” posts are getting old, but get used to them. On Thursday, he opened his mouth and inserted his foot again, this time on the prospect of implementing a reduction in the state income tax.
Recent Ohio tax reforms included a phased-in reduction in the income tax of 21%. The final 4.2% drop in rates was to have gone into effect in 2009, but Governor Strickland and the Ohio legislature, postponed that reduction as part of a late-year fix in 2009 when the Supreme Court put a stop to its earlier slots-at-racetracks plan.
Throughout the campaign, Kasich frequently insisted that freezing tax rates at 2008 levels for 2009 and 2010 was a tax increase. So, gosh darn it, as Governor, he would implement that final reduction and reverse that tax increase. On Thursday, he stated: “We are going to pass a budget in June that will balance the budget and restore the tax cuts. (video courtesy of ohiocapitalblog.com)
Well, once again, Kasich is misinformed. And, once again, he is proposing to do something that Governor Strickland has already done. Because HB318, the budget fix enacted with the Governor’s signature in December, 2009, only temporarily postponed the tax increase for two years. Ohio law, as amended by HB318, already states that the final 4.2% reduction will take effect in 2011. So, on January 1, Ohioans will get their tax cuts, and Kasich will have had absolutely nothing to do with it.