Today, Governor John Kasich unveiled his Executive Budget for fiscal years 2016-2017. The proposal includes a 23 percent reduction to the state income tax as part of an expected tax reform package. The bill will also eliminate tax on income from all small businesses with annual gross receipts less than $2 million. Other tax changes include a renewed effort to raise the oil and gas severance tax, broadening the sales tax and increasing the tobacco tax. In total, the proposal includes $500 million in new tax cuts.
Other highlights include provisions to increase K-12 spending and create better accountability for charter schools. The Executive Budget proposes measures to reign in college tuition and relieve college debt for recent graduates.
The budget also addresses health care issues and would require adults at or above 100 percent of the federal poverty level to pay monthly premiums. The bill also addresses home- and community-based health care and provides for developmental disabilities services and community behavioral health resources.
Within the next few weeks, the Executive Budget will be drafted as legislation and introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration by the House Finance Committee under the leadership of Chairman Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell). As the budget bill moves through the House, it will undoubtedly go through substantial changes, which usually happens during Ohio’s process. Following passage by the House (expected in late April 2015), the Senate will take up the bill with Senator Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) serving as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Pursuant to the Ohio Constitution, the budget must be completed and signed into law not later than June 30, 2015.
Additional information about the Governor’s Executive Budget can be found here.