Ohio’s Conservatives are not happy with John Kasich’s plan to raise taxes on oil and gas companies and they might turn out to be the loudest opponents of the governor’s recently released turnpike plans as well.

In a letter to Kasich this week, Tom Zawistowski, President of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, called the governor’s reasoning for raising the severance tax on oil and gas companies “disingenuous”, “not consistent with conservative values” and “quite offensive to those of us in the conservative movement who supported your election.”

Chris Littleton called the severance tax plan a “wealth redistribution scheme”.

And when Kasich said Ohio should keep oil and gas workers from other states out of Ohio, OhioWatchdog’s John Cassidy called the comments “deeply un-American” and compared Kasich to Hugo Chavez. “It’s obvious that Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, doesn’t believe in free markets.”

Conservatives don’t like Kasich’s severance tax plan because they say it puts an extra burden on companies doing business in Ohio and it redistributes money from businesses to individuals.

His turnpike plan appears to do exactly the same thing.

While we won’t know for sure until a bill is introduced, Kasich has vowed (as we predicted two days ago) to protect local drivers who travel fewer than 30 miles on the turnpike while planning to raise fees on truck drivers and trucking companies, many of whom travel to Ohio from other states, and who use the road for commerce.

Kasich wants the Ohio Turnpike to raise its tolls so he can use that revenue stream to fund other projects. Effectively, this is a tax increase pretending to be a fee and it’s aimed directly at small business owners like truck drivers as well as interstate travelers.

Politically, this is the easiest tax increase to propose because it appears not to impact potential Ohio voters. But it certainly may spark a backlash from his already pissed off base who should be wondering how tax increases on out-of-state businesses, and taking on more debt to pay for short-term spending, fits into the world view of a guy who claims economic success results from lower taxes, less government spending and an increasingly streamlined government that supports the free market.

We’ll have to wait and see how well Kasich’s new-found populist attitude plays with the voters, which is essentially who this plan is aimed at. But it seems clear conservatives will have some major issues with Kasich’s latest proposal.

  • westparkguy

    Sounds like redistribution of wealth to me….

    Does this mean Kasich is ….. (GASP) ….. A Socialist?

  • Spitfiremk1

    Good Grief!!! This is a REAL Etch-a-Sketch moment!!!!

  • Random Thoughts

    “Conservatives don’t like Kasich’s severance tax plan because they say it puts an extra burden on companies doing business in Ohio and it redistributes money from businesses to individuals.”

    Funny how those same people see no harm in putting an extra burden on schools and other public entities, and redistributing money from them to individuals (i.e. charter schools and privatization of other public services).

    Is it 2014 yet?

  • dmoore2222

    I wonder how that high speed rail money that he turned away is lookin to Kasich now. Nearly a half billion dollars that would have created lots of REALLY good paying jobs and signaled to all those companies he wants to attract to Ohio that this state is moving forward. Instead, he’s moving backwards by raiding a well established and profitable highway system. And I’d love for him to explain to us how this heist is going to create 65,000 new jobs when these kind of deals ususally result in job loss. You know, sometimes really stupid people get elected. And when there’s no more low hanging fruit for them to exploit (like the recovery that started under Strickland and Obama) they do stupid stuff like this. Keep digging, Johnny!

  • dmoore2222

    Thank you. Well said.

  • dmoore2222

    Ha! I love how their own rhetoric comes back to bite them.

  • dmoore2222

    From this morning’s Dispatch: “Gov. John Kasich said his plan to leverage the Ohio Turnpike without leasing it
    would generate $3 billion for state road projects and create 65,000 jobs.”
    He’s just throwing numbers around. Where is any evidence that this deal would create that many jobs. This is the same crap we heard about JobsOhio and it resulted in tens of millions in giveaways to status quo companies (which now he says he’s against).

  • Spitfiremk1

    I wondered how ODOT would be able to pull a bear raid on the turnpike with out taking on the responsibility of maintaining the highway.

    Now I know, they just put silk stockings over their heads, walked in
    with a gun in one hand, a big bag to carry out the loot in the other and
    shouted: “Stick em up – give us the money and no one gets hurt!”

    Now what could be simpler?

  • DublinIrishBob

    Yesterday when this story broke in The Columbus Dispatch, I checked the sites of the Plain Dealer, The Toledo Blade, and Cincinnati Enquirer, the Youngstown Vindicator, and a few other news sites. Not one of them mentioned the 65,000 jobs piece. Now did the other news sources miss this, did they not think it important, or do they simply not believe it? Does The Dispatch have better reporting, or are they doing their usual GOP public relations/talking points schtick?

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