Yesterday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich unveiled his two year budget proposal. It includes some impressive reforms. The budget cuts taxes $1.3 billion over three years, including a 20 percent across the board income tax cut and cutting the sales tax rate while broadening the base.

It also will make school vouchers available to all low-income children in Ohio — nearly half the total student population in the state. Education reform advocates call this one of the most far-reaching voucher programs in the country, up there with recent reforms in Indiana and Louisiana.

ATR President Grover Norquist wrote the following letter in support of the Kasich budget (PDF copy here):

February 5, 2013

Ohio House
Ohio Senate

Dear Legislator,

I write in strong support of the tax and education reforms in Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget. The governor’s plan recognizes the urgency of reducing income tax rates across the board for Ohio’s families and small businesses, and broadens the sales tax base while reducing the rate. The proposal is a net tax cut of over $1 billion, reducing the overall burden on taxpayers rather than using reform as a Trojan Horse for tax increases. And it expands access to school vouchers for an unprecedented number of low-income students currently locked into underperforming schools.

States compete for population, jobs, and investment. That is especially true today in the Midwest, where states like Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan have streamlined labor regulations and are proposing significant tax cuts. Ohio started this process in 2011 with the elimination of the estate tax. The governor’s proposal will continue the effort to transform the state, cutting taxes and giving new educational opportunities to an unprecedented number of Ohio’s children.

This budget reduces income taxes across the board, giving much needed tax relief to Ohio families and small businesses of all sizes. It also broadens the sales tax rate and lowers the rate from 5.5 percent to 5 percent. The overall impact of the tax changes is a $1.3 billion tax cut.

With respect to education, Ohio will join Indiana and Louisiana as a true leader on education reform. Nearly one-half of Ohio’s children will be provided a voucher to attend a private school of their choice, freeing many of them from failing or underperforming schools. School choice is a civil rights issue, and Gov. Kasich’s budget places Ohio at the forefront of the national reform effort.

For those of you who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a vote for this budget is compliant with the Pledge.

Again, I urge your support for Gov. Kasich’s proposed budget. If you have any questions about ATR’s position on this issue, please contact Ohio state affairs manager Josh Culling at 202-785-0266.


Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

CC: The Honorable John Kasich