It’s about time that John Kasich and the General Assembly started touting their investments in our state to attract visitors from across the United States (and Canada). Thankfully, Ohio House Bill 489 will do just that — promote the state as a travel destination. Governor John Kasich’s plan includes a five-year test program in which the state’s tourism budget would be funded entirely by the growth in sales-tax revenue generated by the industry beginning in fiscal year 2014 with an annual cap in funding of $10 million and ending the practice of paying for tourism marketing out of the state’s general-revenue fund.
With such high stakes for generating revenue, we know that TourismOhio must focus on the promotion of Ohio’s major investments under the Kasich administration. To help, we’ve put together a 30-second spot that we believe most accurately reflects the centerpiece attractions in Ohio for 2012 and beyond. Focusing on four key recipients of funding in Ohio will help showcase some of Ohio’s major investments for the next generation.
- American Greetings Headquarters, Brooklyn, Ohio: the company that got potentially $93.5 million over 15 years in State taxpayer assistance to “stay in Ohio” when it had pretty much already committed to do so before Kasich took office. After securing $93.5 million in State taxpayer money, American Greetings gives its CEO a 18.7% raise
- Diebold Headquarters, North Canton, Ohio (for now): Governor Kasich is giving $55 million in tax incentives to essentially finance Diebold’s planned new $100 million world headquarters (the company wants to build a corporate campus as opposed to their current arrangement). Diebold’s total incentive package could end up around $100 million, the company says. In return, the company would agree to employ about 1,500 people in Ohio for 18 years (The current facility employs 1,900 at its sites in Stark and Summit counties). In other words, Diebold could layoff 400 employees in the next 18 years and still keep the State and local incentives. The State, alone, is paying $55 million, more than half the estimated costs of the project, in return for a promise that the company won’t lay off more than 400 employees in the next eighteen years. All of this despite the fact the Diebold was never going to leave Ohio.
- Fracking, Eastern Ohio: In June, John Kasich signed into law a bill to permit oil and gas drilling (i.e., fracking) in Ohio’s State parks. Remember, it’s not the fracking that causes the earthquakes and poisons the local water supplies, it’s merely the processes before and after that are necessary to allow the fracking to actually work. Soon after, the Youngstown area experienced an earthquake on New Year’s Eve. It was the 11th earthquake of 2011 in the area, which is really quite surprising since there were no earthquakes here in 2010, or 2009, or any year ever that anyone can remember.
- Bob Evans, New Albany, Ohio: The State of Ohio spent nearly $8 million in incentives to help Bob Evans move its corporate headquarters roughly 20 miles from Columbus to New Albany. Bob Evans had already broken ground on their New Albany compound when Kasich promised these funds to keep them from moving to Texas…
So come back to The Heart of It All and discover the NEW Ohio:
2012 John Kasich Edition