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Ohio House Pulls Nearly Every Kasich Tax Proposal Out Of Budget

Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell, House Finance Chair) and former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) in 2017.
Jo Ingles
Ohio Public Radio
Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell, House Finance Chair) and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville).

House Republicans went back to the drawing board to roll out a new budget plan after seeing tax revenues coming up short month after month. The changes include taking out nearly all of Gov. John Kasich’s tax reform proposals.

In his last two budgets Gov. John Kasich has proposed a plan that makes reductions to the income tax, saying he wants to shift the state away from relying on income taxes.

The administration says Ohio has seen a net income tax reduction of $5 billion in the last five years. But sales and other taxes have gone up.

In this budget, which will be his last, Kasich introduced a plan that would cut the income tax by 17 percent while raising the sales tax by 9 percent.

But Republican House leaders have taken out nearly all of Kasich’s tax proposals this time. House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger joined Kasich and Republican Senate President Larry Obhof of Medina earlier this month for an announcement that $800 million would have to be cut from the budget.

Though Rosenberger has helped lead the way for income tax cuts in the past, he now says this is not the time to continue on that path.

“This is a time to focus on restraint and continue to focus on the foundation of the state so those jobs can continue to be created in our current climate,” Rosenberger said.

Democratic Representative Jack Cera of Bellaire says he’s happy to see the tax shifts taken out of the budget.

“It’s great that they finally got to that conclusion but I think they only did so because of the reduced revenue that has been caused by their tax policies,” Cera said.

Rosenberger and Republican House Finance Chair Ryan Smith of Bidwell defend their role in cutting taxes in Ohio and say those cuts have helped create jobs.

Smith plans to have the budget out of his committee by early next week.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.