Cutting Taxes

OHIO GOV. John Kasich unveiled his two-year budget proposal Monday.

At first glance, it appears one that will be favorably received.

Headlining the $63.1 billion spending blueprint is cuts on the state income tax and to small businesses. That dose of good news is bolstered further by the the Republican governor’s plans to spike school funding while expanding Medicaid services.

It sounds nearly too good to be true. Tax cuts, additional school funding and aiding health care are areas where Kasich should gain much praise.

The governor’s tax reduction agenda is quite impressive. He seeks to reduce the tax rate on virtually all small businesses by 50 percent, cut the income tax rate statewide by 20 percent over three years, and lower the sales tax rate from 5.5 percent to 5 percent.

Should those cutbacks become reality, it would deliver a strong shot-in-the-arm to small businesses, which would go a long way to helping energize the state’s economy.

In the realm of education, Kasich also wants to pump $1.2 billion in additional funding to districts over the biennium.

Undoubetdly, the state’s schools could make great use of the funding influx. We hope, however, should that $1.2 billion come to fruition, that our local schools get their fair and equitable share. Eastern Ohio schools have been shortchanged for much too long when it comes to state funding distribution.

Kasich’s plans also would provide health care coverage to potentially half a million uninsured Ohioans. That in itself makes it a worthwhile budget proposal.

To make all this happen, the governor plans to bring back a proposal to increase Ohio’s severance tax on large-volume oil and gas drillers in what the administration says is a “fair, equitable and competitive” change.

Kasich’s proposal makes good on his 2010 campaign promise to cut taxes. It is also one that is education and health care friendly. We believe it is worthy of bipartisan support.