In today’s Dispatch, under the intentionally inflammatory headline “Unions Get Revenge…” we get a hint of next year’s anti-union rhetoric:

“But amidst all of the concessions and hat-in-hand rhetoric, there was a hint of defiance. Kasich, who opened by congratulating the labor coalition, said local governments should not expect a state bailout to manage their costs.
‘There is no bailout because frankly, there’s no money,’ Kasich said.”


Kasich’s year-long attack against public employees was two-pronged: Make them vulnerable, and strip away their defenses. Last night, not only did he fail to render unions defenseless, he helped bring about the machinery for a credible defense. But on the first part, he scored a clear victory- he gutted local governments and the voters didn’t stop it.

Kasich eliminated the estate tax, and slashed the Tangible Personal Property Tax (sources disagree on the TPPT, but the larger point does not depend on that – see both stricken link and comments below) which were significant portions of the overall revenue for many municipalities and school districts. He made general cuts to state dollars distributed to local communities across the board. We’ve covered extensively the degree to which Kasich has increased spending, decreased revenue, and made the resulting budget balance by putting the onus on local governments, who would have to drastically cut services or raise taxes as a result. Kasich’s response, beyond simply denying reality, is that he had given local governments the tools to make up the shortfall through the passage of SB5. To be clear from the outset: had Issue 2 not been defeated, local governments would still face immediate and desperate shortfalls that would not have been impacted immediately by bargaining reform. Furthermore, the actual savings available to local communities were obscenely exaggerated, and many communities would not have seen any potential savings whatsoever. But we’ll get back to that.

Across the state, voters were faced with “Kasich Levies,” tax increase requests necessitated by the governor’s budget. These were levies that overwhelmingly sought to replace lost state revenue in order to maintain the same level of basic services, giving voters the choice between significant tax hikes during a recession or loss of such staples of community life as an adequate police force, Friday night high school football, plowed winter streets, etc. These are tough choices, and there will be widespread unhappiness in the months to come regardless of the results. If the results across Franklin County, for example, are any indication, there will be layoffs of public employees, and Kasich will tell us that those laid off have nobody to blame but themselves. In Franklin County, there were 18 separate tax issues on the ballot. Seven of them asked for a renewal or a replacement of an existing tax at an equal or lower rate. All seven of these issues passed. People understand that they need to pay for local services. Eleven of the issues involved additional taxes or increases in existing taxes. 3 of those 11 passed, 7 failed, and one remains too close to call. Overwhelmingly, voters did not think that they should have to pay more money for existing services. Kasich actively encouraged voters to take this stance.

As a result, Dublin City Schools plans on reducing their workforce by 100 employees. Westerville City Schools plans 175 teacher layoffs alone, and elimination of all extracurricular activities, including football. Reynoldsburg has proposed laying off four police officers, about 10% of the force. The few communities that did attempt to preserve the character of their local communities did so at quite a cost. In Bexley, where the city lost 25% of its revenue with the elimination of the estate tax even before the 50% cut of direct funding from the state, voters chose to effectively wipe out the last four years of state income tax cuts in order to shift the tax burden from the dead to the living. They did this because continuing the five year tradition of cutting spending by about 10% year after year, including negotiated concessions from FOP and AFSCME, would not come close to providing for a balanced budget that provides basic services to residents.

Kasich forced local communities to come up with new revenue or drastically cut costs. He then warned them not to come up with new revenue, and then attempted to make cutting costs at the expense of public employee unions the path of least resistance for communities. The sad truth is, however, that there was very little savings to be extracted from public employee contracts in the first place, most of those savings are already being achieved through current collective bargaining law, and increased taxes and spending cuts would have been necessary regardless. So now, although public employees have scored a high profile victory against Kasich, and public employees may not be the lowest hanging fruit, (too) many will still lose their jobs. Schools and communities will not be able to balance their budgets, and everyone will suffer as a result.

Whose fault is it that your income taxes are going up and the quality of life in our communities is being diminished? If you’re Occupy Wall Street, you might say it’s the big banks that pushed us into an economic crisis and recession. If you’re an Ohio citizen paying attention, you’d have to say that a significant amount of blame belongs to John Kasich and a Republican legislature that didn’t have the guts to balance their own budget. If you’re John Kasich, however, you’ll say it’s the pesky public employee unions and the Ohio voters they hoodwinked. And you’ll say it again, and again, and again. Things in Ohio are going to get worse before they get better thanks to John Kasich and his Robs Budget. When they do, he and folks like Shannon Jones will be ready to dodge accountability with a new smear campaign. He may have been forced into a tactical retreat today, but he’s already laying groundwork for the next battle. Be prepared.


  • Anonymous

    No surprise….there will be money for corporate welfare and charter schools from Wall $treet Johnny.

  • Anonymous

    No surprise….there will be money for corporate welfare and charter schools from Wall $treet Johnny.

  • Anonymous

    Kasich has a constitutional responsibility to fund the schools. If he fails to do that, he has broken his oath of office.

  • The article is incorrect in stating that Kasich did away with the tangible personal property tax.  That was phased out beginning in 2005 under Gov. Taft.  It was replaced with a Commercial Activity Tax.  I do not know how the revenue from each tax compares.  I’m guessing the CAT has not made up for the TPPT.
    As far as the coming budget perils for cities and school districts, this is a real worry.  Especially for schools.  As they are primarily funded by property taxes, there has been less revenue for schools due to the property value decreases over the last four years.  Levies are inevitable.  Beware though that as property values increase in the future (hopefully!), the tax burden on home owners will become greater.  Good luck getting the levies reduced. 
    Two questions I have are, 1) when will the state come up with a new school funding model because the current model has been declared unconstitutional by the state supreme court several times?, and 2) where has the money for school funding by the state government gone?  If the decreases in funding are caused by real events and truly necessary, this state’s days are numbered before it goes bankrupt.  Our district, Twinsburg, has gone from a cash surplus of $35 million to a projected defecit of $12 million in 2015 based on the state funding model that has been given to the district.  Again, some of this is due to property tax revenue decrease, but the majority is due to reduced state funding.  What is going on?  This needs to be Plunderbund’s focus over the next several years.  I know it will be mine.

  • Anonymous

    The unions have band together, get out in front of Kasich’s narrative and educate the public.  He gutted funding for our cities to give his wealthy campaign contributors tax cuts.   Or the next repeal of the next law they pass to gut unions won’t get on the ballot. 

  • Anonymous

    All part of Grover Norquist’s handbook.  Drown the baby in the bathwater.  I have a family member at Westerville Schools and the cuts will happen.  To make matters worse, the woman who led the anti-levy movement was elected to the Westerville School Board last night; in fact, she got the most votes!

    This is also part of the Karl Rove playbook of having “sleeper cells” out there.  Many of these anti-school zealots who have been elected will silently work to hurt the very school systems they were elected to serve.  Rove did it with judges in the South to get “Tort Reform” enacted.  Now Ohio schools are going to be undermined.  Consolidation is just a euphemism for breaking the teacher unions.  

    This is war, make no mistake.  Our way of life is being challenged by people who still want to fight the culture wars. 

  • Thanks for the correction – I was relying on a source that I now see was ambiguous.

  • Thanks for the correction – I was relying on a source that I now see was ambiguous.

  • Dmoore2222

    It may be wishful thinking on my part but I think he’s done. He’s shown in less than a year that he’s really not fit for the governorship or any executive position. It’s not in him to analyze, assess, adapt or use any measure of mature reasoning. All the characteristics of a good executive a lacking in him. He’s impetuous, impulsive, rude and inarticulate. His manner of speaking is so disjointed I can never discern any point he tries to make. 

    It may seem like a small matter, but it was very telling how he just couldn’t stand still last night when the two other clowns on stage were speaking. It seems like his overblown sense of importance just won’t allow him to pay attention to anything or anyone else. If he’s not the center of attention then he’s not interested. I think this explains the sloppiness that has gone on in his administration, from trying to appoint a nonresident to a cabinet position to the really pathetic campaign strategy for Issue 2. He can’t seem to accept that he could be wrong about anything.

    His party followed him off the cliff once already. I don’t think they’ll be up to it again any time soon. They’re going to be busy putting as much distance between themselves and him as they can before next November. What We Are Ohio needs to do is maintain a strong presence. Do whatever it takes to stay in the public eye. They are the only real line of defense.

  • Anonymous

    Property tax levies are fixed amounts.  They bring in the exact dollar amount no mater how much your home is worth. That’s thanks to a GOP law from the 70’s that prevents levies from rising along with property values.

  • leeseh

    Has anybody talked to Trumka, Burga, Redfern, etc. to see what plan they have to keep ahead of this?  This is exactly what I posted as a concern the other day.  We won the battle, but the war is obviously far from over and if we don’t have a plan in place already, we are behind the curve and we will lose.  I’m not saying that individuals shouldn’t do what they can to set the record straight, but this will take organization(s) and money and access to media that an individual wouldn’t have.

  • Adrienne

    Acknowledged, and thanks for the warning, Jason.

    He’ll come back worse than ever like Frankenstein, or Dracula.

  • Anonymous

    The Dispatch’s headline tells all regarding their “non-objective” reporting.

  • Anonymous

    no, the original post was on the right track. the TPPT was eliminated in 2005, but local governments were to continue to receive replacement revenue from the State equivalent to 70% of Commercial Activity Tax receipts in perpetuity. Kasich’s budget phases out the replacement revenue starting immediately, and eliminates them by 2021. See Table 2:

    The budget also phases out replacement revenue local governments and schools were receiving from a utility tax, eliminated in 1999. In all, the Kasich budget defunds local governments in 4 ways: elimination of the TPP and KWH tax replacement revenue, a 50% cut in the local government fund, and elimination of the estate tax.

  • Anonymous

    Dmoore, I, too, would like to think you are correct about his being “done”, but I don’t think so. By your own (rightful) description he’s “impetuous, impulsive, rude and inarticulate”. The little bastard’s dangerous by virtue of his egocentric personality. I think he’ll be the one looking for revenge. I’ve already heard and read much from the pro-SB5 crowd about re-grouping and trying it again.

  • bonobo = Jason, I am the original poster. After checking out Dave’s comment, I quickly realized that differentiating between actual and replacement revenue would distract readers, so I just scrapped it. Thanks for providing a clear and concise explanation.

  • Czar Kashitch I, like all petty tyrants, is going to look for some heads to roll. And I suspect that one of them will be Scammon Jones. Someone is going to have to pay for the failure to keep the Czar’s pogrom on Ohio workers from falling apart, and she’s perfect for the role; she’s stupid, arrogant, and disliked by everyone save the knuckle-dragging off-products of cousins who keep sending her back to Columbus.

  • Renee

    No he is not done. He made sure he wasn’t done with the budget bill. They wrote tax amnesty in the budget bill, which for sure to lead to another budget shortfall in 2013.  He will hope that the taxpayer’s forget that he and the legislature permitted businesses to make their own tax determinations without proper audit, which of course will lead to less revenue for the state. So he is not done.

  • Keylure

    My thoughts exactly.  The future problems of local governments will be blamed on the public unions who convinced people to vote no on Issue 2, even though the GOP’s tax cutting and money shifting to private entities mean financial disaster for locasl governments anyways.  Public workers better be prepared to hand over more money to their unions to fight these slurs.

  • Renee

    The revenue from each tax is public information. And with the large exclusions given by CAT it is hardly a replacement for the PPT and Corporate Franchise tax. Both were phased out completely as of 2009.  More so Kasich contributor Marathon just one a case against the state of ohio regarding the CAT and guess who was representing them? Mr. Zaino himself the tax commissioner who helped get CAT in the Revised Code! Another problem is the grant monies issued by the Ohio Department of Development. A department that Kaisch wants to privatize. The state issues grants to billion dollar firms such as Proctor and Gamble and cuts school funding. This also needs to be addressed. 

  • Sorry that oath stuff will not stop him. He thinks he is above all that and that teachers are so much lower than him.

  • Anastasjoy

    When did violating the constitution ever bother Kasich?

    By the way, he should be slugged in the mouth for even uttering that line about “no money.” If there’s “no money,” how did he manage to come up with a bloated budget $5 billion higher than Ted Strickland’s last budget? There’s PLENTY of money — it’s all about priorities. Let’s be clear on that. And Kasich’s priorities don’t include the regular citizens of Ohio.

  • David from Hilliard

    The only bailout I want is to bail Kasich and the GOP out of the Statehouse.

  • Kasich n crew will not stop until we stop them…In Nov we have an opportunity to vote out the repubs n dems could take power of Senate..until We do that..get use to carrying petitions n fightn the fight…Let the repubs commit political 4 the tea bag rs? We can beat them…we must just stick together n remember every november to vote them out..always

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