Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to cut tax rates on incomes and small businesses, and his administration is open to suggestions from lawmakers about how to do it, the state’s budget director said Tuesday.
Budget Director Tim Keen said in an interview with The Associated Press that based on discussions he’s had with legislative leaders, he believes the income tax cuts will remain in the budget.
His comments come as the Republican-controlled Ohio House is preparing its changes to Kasich’s $63.2 billion two-year state budget proposal.
Kasich, a Republican, campaigned in 2010 on a pledge to reduce Ohio’s income tax. With re-election just a year away, this budget is where that will need to happen.
Kasich’s plan would lower the state’s income tax 20 percent over three years and reduce the tax rates on consumer sales and small businesses. He’s proposed doing so by raising the severance tax on large-scale oil and gas drilling and by applying sales taxes to a new list of services as varied as those offered by lawyers, accountants, amusement parks and rock concerts.
Republicans and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce have raised concerns about extending state sales taxes. Business leaders have argued the new sales taxes on their services will be burdensome to impose, unfairly double-tax them in places and ultimately harm the bottom line.
GOP Rep. Ron Amstutz said last week that substantial changes are planned for Kasich’s tax overhaul proposals.