Kasich’s budget is reliant on the State keeping BILLIONS of money that had been promised to local governments. Kasich’s response to this is that these local communities will reform by consolidation and sharing services with other local governments. This has led Kasich and some media outlets to praise Kasich’s budget as some sort of municipal reform plan.
But as Thomas Suddes pointed out over the weekend, Kasich’s budget is balanced by Kasich ignoring that local governments were promised certain funding to ease the fiscal impact the State imposed on them by removing the local government’s ability to raise certain types of taxes. The Akron Beacon Journal reminds Kasich that the Local Government Fund was created as an incentive to get local governments to lower property taxes in lieu of allowing the State to charge a sales tax.
So the “R” word the Ohio media should be using is RAIDING, not REFORMING. Kasich is raiding the funding for local governments and keeping it at the State level to balance his budget. It’s really no different than how the former House Budget Chairman raided the Social Security Trust Fund to balance the federal budget by using the Trust Fund’s surplus to fund non-entitlement spending.
John Kasich doesn’t so much as create local government reform any more than bank robbers “reform” financial institution’s security systems.
Seriously, unless John Kasich is planning to go the Frank Abagnale, Jr. route, he’s still just a raider, not yet a reformer.
Kasich’s budget is “balanced” by not replacing where the stimulus money went in the last budget, then raiding billions from schools and local governments in promised revenues to help them deal with tax changes passed by the State legislature that affected them without affecting the State’s balance sheets (unfunded mandates), BILLIONS in one time privatization/securitization schemes, and predicting that the Strickland recovery will continue to gain steam to lead to more revenue growth.
There’s plenty of things you can call Kasich’s budget. But reform? That’s too charitable.