As I mentioned two days ago, Kasich and his people have been pushing a report from the Tax Foundation that claims Ohio’s combined state and local tax burden is ranked 7th highest in the nation.

According to the Governor’s Office, this is the report they are referencing. It was published in January, 2010 – and ranking of #7 for Ohio it uses is actually from 2005.

But Kasich fails to mention that the Tax Foundation put out a more recent set of data in late February of 2011 showing that Ohio is actually ranked much higher AND the combined tax rate now LOWER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.

As I’ve said before, I think there are many reasons to find the Tax Foundations ranking system suspect. But if you are going to use their numbers to support your policy choices – at least use the most recent ones!

And based on the Tax Foundation’s most recent information shows Ohio’s combined state and local tax burden has been steadily falling since 2005. While Ohio was ranked 7th in 2005, it shot up to 18th in 2009.

During this period from 2005 to 2009 (started under Bob Taft and carried through by Ted Strickland) Ohio underwent some major income and business tax changes that reduced state personal income tax rates and eliminated property taxes on business and machinery and equipment. These reductions and reforms have caused Ohio’s taxes to go down and our Tax Foundation ranking to go up.

So the next time you hear Kasich or his staff claiming that Ohio has the 7th highest tax burden in the nation – and I expect you’ll be hearing it a lot – please remember to ask them why they are quoting 6 year old numbers – and remind them that Ohio’s tax rate, according to the Tax Foundation, is actually below the national average.

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