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Gov. Kasich to work on plan to market Ohio

Published: Wed, January 1, 2014 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Marc Kovac


Last of a three-part series


Gov. John Kasich has made no secret about his desire to reduce — and someday eliminate outright — Ohio’s income taxes.

He was not cryptic during a speech before chamber of commerce groups recently, urging business leaders to pick up the banner and be more vocal about the issue.

“I would encourage you as members of the chamber to always be for tax cuts,” he said. “I haven’t always seen that over the last few years.”

Tax Cuts

“We have to do it,” Kasich continued. “If you want Ohio to move faster, we have to reduce this personal income tax. Seventeen billion dollars walked out of this state since 1995. Where’s it go? Anybody want to guess? Florida, Nevada, Texas, Tennessee. Guess what all of them have in common: no income tax. We need to reduce these taxes for another way in which we can encourage people to move to our state. ... Promise me you’ll be for tax cuts. We can debate where it ought to be, but at the end of the day, you have to get to that conclusion.”

Ohio’s Image

The governor wants to do more to enhance Ohio’s image to residents elsewhere, enlisting the help of a big-name Columbus businessman to spearhead the effort.

“We do have an issue with image,” he said. “And I’m pleased to say that [Limited Brands CEO] Lex Wexner has agreed to take a look at a marketing plan for our state, because sometimes when people live in California, I don’t want their spouse getting worked up if they wanted to move into somewhere in Ohio [because we] don’t have an ocean. We’ve got to tell them, once they get here what they’re going to have. And you know what? When people get on an airplane and they move to Ohio, they never leave. It’s getting them here to understand what we have, and Lex Wexner is going to help us to put together a marketing plan. And you might say why Lex Wexner? Well, I have two daughters, and they’re not playing football, but if I had a son and he was going to play football and Peyton Manning said, ‘Hey, let me show him how to pass,’ I think I’d take him up on it, OK? So I don’t know if we’re going to have a Victoria’s Secret-type marketing plan for Ohio, but it isn’t a bad thought is it? Talk about cool and exciting, we’ll see. ...

“When people get to Ohio, when they realize, one, there’s no traffic. Some of you may think there’s traffic, there’s no traffic. Two, the cost of living is so much lower here than it is on the coasts and even in places like Chicago. Three, we have great schools. Four, we’ve got neighborhoods that are terrific. But the issue is how do you get them here. When they’re out somewhere on the East or West Coast and they’ve got an ocean and, of course, it costs them a fortune to live there. How do you tell people about what we have? ... We have to let them know about this, because once they know, they want to be here. And there is an element of cool.”

Drug Addiction

Kasich said his administration will continue to focus on prescription-drug abuse, adding to policy decisions implemented in recent years to shut down pill mills, hold doctors more accountable for the state’s addiction epidemic and keep better track of opioids distributed in Ohio’s communities.

“Do you know that the problem of drug addiction is everywhere?” Kasich asked. “You know that? Our young people have moved from Oxycontin to heroin, and it’s everywhere, and it breaks your heart. And some kids caught in that trap ... it is not easy to get out. It threatens to destroy families and destroy lives and their God-given purpose. ... Beginning of the year, you’re going to hear about a program we’re taking to every school, to all the parents across the state of Ohio. It’s already started. ... The highway patrol meeting with all the sports teams so they can go into the schools and talk about the dangers of drugs. And we need to give them a reason to say no. Just saying no doesn’t work. ... We have to give our children a chance to say no, and when mothers and fathers talk to their children extensively about drugs, there’s a reduction in usage. You’re going to hear about a big program. It’s exciting.”

School Reform

The governor continued to tout the school-reform plan implemented in Cleveland and urged other communities to undertake comparable efforts.

“The school plan, reform plan, that passed Cleveland is a miracle ...,” he said. “You want to fix your schools, folks? You want to put children first? You bring us your reform plan, because the best kind of education reform in a state is when it comes from the bottom up. They tried it in Columbus, they’re going to keep at it in Columbus. Youngstown? ... How many times do we have to say, Youngstown, bring us a school-reform plan so children are not left behind. Build a coalition in your communities to fix your schools, and we will help you. ... Bring us your plans.”

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


1dontbeafool(2067 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Great, a marketing plan to insource Californians, and failing charter schools. Just what we need! Just sell the turnpike like you want to do and get it over with.

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2dontbeafool(2067 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

States need revenue to function, and these states will have to make up for the lack of income tax somehow. New Hampshire and Texas, for example, make up for it in property taxes. Both states have some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The cost of higher property taxes, sales taxes, fuel taxes, and other taxes could amount to higher overall taxes in some of these states. Ohio will get their money from your pockets one way or the other.....AND STILL NOT PLOW OR FIX THE ROADS.

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3dontbeafool(2067 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Ethics questions still dogged JobsOhio, especially after a July investigation by the Dayton Daily News showing that six of the nine members of JobsOhio’s board of directors had direct financial ties to companies that got tax credits from JobsOhio or from the state.

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4dontbeafool(2067 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

It's official.... 2 million signed up so far.

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5JoeFromHubbard(1776 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Let's back up to the beginning, the Columbus business man is Les Wexner, not Lex.

Eliminating the Ohio income tax is a great idea but we know that revenue will come from under some other shell on the tax game board.

The teachers union is great if you're a teacher. A tough nut to crack if you're in government management. It drives operating costs ferociously.

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6dontbeafool(2067 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I wonder what Les' fee for getting the word out on Ohio is going to be? We will probably never know since it is probably restricted information. I think the average American knows all they need to know about Ohio already. Come to Ohio, we are ranked 44th in job creation rates, you will never want to leave. Yay!

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7dontbeafool(2067 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago


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8Askmeificare(1170 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Why doesn't Ohio already have a plan? Shouldn't we have a 5, 10, 15, and then also a soft 20 year plan?

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9dontbeafool(2067 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Explain to me why you eliminate state taxes to lure more people into Ohio where jobs are hard to come by? Wouldn't traffic increase with the influx of all these new Ohioans? What is the incentive for bringing all these new people in? Like I said before, no income tax=higher other taxes such as property and sales taxes. He should be bringing corporations with job opportunities and decent salaries into Ohio, not families.

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