Today Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) commended Gov. John Kasich’s FY 2012-13 budget proposal, which eliminates an $8 billion hole without raising taxes. Relying on commonsense spending reductions and budgetary reforms, Gov. Kasich was able to balance Ohio’s books while reducing the personal income tax burden nearly $850 million.
Gov. Kasich is one of 13 sitting governors who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to constituents to oppose and veto all tax increases. The governor joins 24 Ohio state legislators in signing the Pledge, which is maintained by ATR.
The biggest complication in dealing with the state budget comes from the expiration of billions of dollars in federal “stimulus.” The governor’s predecessor leaned heavily on Washington, D.C. to keep the budget ostensibly in balance, only to see Ohio deep in the red as the program came to an end.
“While the tide has clearly turned in Ohio, this should come as little surprise,” said ATR President Grover Norquist. “Gov. Kasich campaigned from day one on the idea that the status quo in Columbus is unsustainable. Today’s announcement is simply the governor putting his money where his mouth is.”
“And he is doing it the responsible way,” Norquist continued. “With the expiration of President Obama’s failed stimulus plan, the need for spending reductions is a fact of life. But to relieve pressure on those facing cuts, he is reforming the spending side of the ledger. The cost curve for local government compensation is being bent downward; Medicaid costs are being contained; corrections are being streamlined where possible. These are humane, sustainable spending cuts.”
“And most importantly,” concluded Norquist, “Gov. Kasich is putting the brakes on the rampant tax increases that have chased business, investment and people across state lines. Until tax hikes are definitively off the table, government will not shrink and Ohio cannot prosper. And tax increases are most certainly off the table for the entirety of the Kasich Administration.”