Budget Shortfall

OHIO GOV. John Kasich is calling for the state’s lawmakers to embrace “big ideas.” He made that plea during Tuesday night’s State of the State address in Lima.

We are all for “big ideas.” Should they come up a little short, progress is still being realized.

As any speech of such magnitude, it was met with mixed reviews. An expansive blueprint for the state’s future will never be totally accepted without some dissenting voices.

Kasich’s tax-cutting proposals are receptive to small business and individuals. The former is in line to experience great benefits from the plan.

However, Kasich’s tax cuts do come at a price. The burgeoning gas and oil drilling business is being targeted to help pay for the tax breaks, as the governor wants to impose a severance tax on the industry.

Unfortunately, much of the oil and gas boom is playing out in Eastern Ohio. Kasich’s plan would take tax money out of the area and spread it throughout the state.

The first-term governor also is hoping to expand the 5-percent sales tax into new avenues, such as entertainment.

Such a move, should it come to fruition, would prove detrimental to our local school athletic departments, as gate receipts would fall victim to the tax’s enlarged tentacles. We view that as a bitter pill that schools should not have to swallow.

Our local schools are already feeling the Kasich pinch. His school funding formula does nothing for our Eastern Ohio districts. Only Steubenville and Toronto will see a spike in funding. We have for all too long come up on the short end of the school funding stick, and Kasich fails to remedy the problem.

Kasich’s State of the State offered many positives. Unfortunately, it does not do enough to help us here in Eastern Ohio.