Our legislators are working on a state budget that will spend nearly $70 BILLION over two years.
Once again, it calls for income tax cuts that mainly help the rich. The plan would cut income tax rates across the board and reduce the number of tax brackets from 9 to 5, which only benefits those with the greatest ability to pay.
To cover the $3.1 billion costs of these tax cuts, Ohio’s sales tax, cigarette tax, beer and wine taxes, and oil and gas severance tax rates would go up. Ohioans would be asked to pay new taxes on cable subscriptions, yard work and home decorating, among other things.
There are better ways to spend our tax money. If you think Ohio’s priorities are out of whack, call your legislators and urge them to scrap tax cuts for the few and invest in things that would improve the quality of life for many Ohioans. With help from Policy Matters Ohio and other allies, we’ve come up with a list of things that should take priority over more tax cuts. They include:
- Keep Medicaid expansion without adding premiums and other barriers that hurt the working poor and children, and would kick lots of low-income mothers off of Medicaid. Invest a $150 million a year to fight the drug epidemic that affects every corner of Ohio;
- Maintain the current spending levels on public schools instead of passing a spending plan that does not keep pace with inflation. The budget would cut state support for more than half of Ohio’s school districts, meaning that if parents want to pay for quality schools many will have to raise their own property taxes;
- Invest in safe drinking water. Lead poisoned water isn’t just a problem in Flint, Michigan. It’s a problem in Ohio;
- Help strengthen Ohio families. Change eligibility requirements so more families can access public child care, and put more money in the pockets of child care providers by raising their pay; help Ohio’s neediest kids with a $30 million per year increase in Children’s Services.