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ATR Urges YES on Ohio Budget, Supports Proposed Improvements


Posted by Joshua Culling on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011, 12:41 PM PERMALINK


Next week the Ohio Senate will unveil it's proposed substitute budget bill, presumably building on the plans advanced by Gov. John Kasich and House Republicans, respectively. Kasich's budget proposal eliminates an $8 billion overspending problem with no tax increases. House Republicans advanced the ball slightly further by eliminating Ohio's onerous death tax, which Kasich supports.

The Senate now gets its crack at the budget writing process, and we expect no drastic or detrimental changes. Senate President Tom Niehaus has been instrumental thusfar in advancing a commonsense conservative agenda in Columbus, most notably through his support of Senate Bill 5. In a letter to the Senate yesterday, ATR President Grover Norquist urged the upper chamber to retain the House's death tax elimination. He also indicated ATR's support of two potential improvements to the budget that are being discussed:

If you have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a YES vote on HB 153 as it is currently written is compliant with that pledge.

That said, there are some proposals currently being discussed that could further improve this budget. ATR recommends adopting the following:

·        Apply the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) to gross casino income: the total amount wagered minus winnings returned. Amount wagered minus winnings returned is consistent with the federal definition of gross gaming revenue. It would also reduce the tax burden on Ohio’s newest crop of job creators while allowing the casino developments to proceed as planned.

·        Strengthen language on public-private partnerships (PPPs) to create a dedicated “partnership committee” within OBM and expand PPP opportunities beyond transportation. PPPs are an essential and innovative approach to infrastructure development bereft of tax increases. By creating a panel of experts to address PPPs, Ohio can bring more transparency and better performance to infrastructure development. And by extending PPP opportunities beyond only transportation projects, further efficiencies and savings to taxpayers can be achieved.

We look forward to a strong vote in the Senate for a balanced budget that cuts taxes for small businesses, family farms and the middle class. To see Grover's entire letter to the Ohio Senate, see below. For a PDF, click here.

May 24, 2010

Ohio Senate

Dear Legislator,

I write in strong support of House Bill 153, the proposed state budget. In keeping with the pledge Gov. John Kasich and 24 state legislators have made to their constituents never to raise taxes, it eliminates an $8 billion overspending problem while reducing the state’s overall tax burden. I urge you to vote yes.

This budget restores the delayed final year of the 2005 income tax cut and phases out Ohio’s onerous estate tax. It tackles politically difficult but necessary reforms in corrections and Medicaid. It is the beginning of the end of the big government mantra that has plagued Columbus over the past few decades.

If you have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a YES vote on HB 153 as it is currently written is compliant with that pledge.

That said, there are some proposals currently being discussed that could further improve this budget. ATR recommends adopting the following:

·        Apply the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) to gross casino income: the total amount wagered minus winnings returned. Amount wagered minus winnings returned is consistent with the federal definition of gross gaming revenue. It would also reduce the tax burden on Ohio’s newest crop of job creators while allowing the casino developments to proceed as planned.

·        Strengthen language on public-private partnerships (PPPs) to create a dedicated “partnership committee” within OBM and expand PPP opportunities beyond transportation. PPPs are an essential and innovative approach to infrastructure development bereft of tax increases. By creating a panel of experts to address PPPs, Ohio can bring more transparency and better performance to infrastructure development. And by extending PPP opportunities beyond only transportation projects, further efficiencies and savings to taxpayers can be achieved.

I strongly urge a yes vote on the budget, noting that the inclusion of Ohio’s estate tax repeal – the most punitive of its kind in the nation – is imperative to attracting investment, jobs and population. I also ask that you take into consideration the reforms listed above.

If you have any questions, please contact Ohio state affairs manager Joshua Culling at jculling@atr.org.

Onward,

Grover Norquist

CC: The Honorable John Kasich

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