As I've Been Saying All Along, Kasich Raised Your Taxes

That is, if you are in a community like mine that had a levy to try to replace the funding gutted by the state and to minimize some of the damage that caused.

While public school systems and local governments across the states are waiting with trepidation to hear what's in Governor Kasich's second budget, to be unveiled next week, this study shows what a monstrous amount of new taxes Kasich's first budget unloaded citizens across the state, as local levies were forced to replace cuts in state funding.

Governor Kasich’s first two-year budget cut funding to education by $1.8 billion over the previous two year period. Administration critics have repeatedly said that a cut of this size would hobble school districts and shift responsibility for adequate school funding from the state to local taxpayers in the form of higher property and/or income taxes.

Though the data was difficult to uncover, Innovation Ohio has succeeded in calculating the number of “new money” levies appearing on local ballots since Gov. Kasich introduced his budget in March, 2011. The numbers are staggering.

Since May 2011, Ohio voters have considered an unprecedented $1.1 billion in new property and income taxes for schools. Voters passed just over 40% of that amount, approving school levies equal to $487 million in new taxes.

My community is a perfect example. A 2011 levy increased my property taxes many times what Kasich is likely to be able to give me back in an income tax cut (which, unsurprisingly, will probably be a substantial amount only for wealthier Ohioans). Now there's talk of a second levy in two years which could double that amount, making even a modest home in this community frankly unaffordable to someone like me. And Cleveland home owners, especially those with modest, un-tax-abated homes, just got clobbered with a 15-mil increase that isn't even going to implement all the wonderful ideas in the so-called "Cleveland Plan." It's going to fill the gap in funding caused by state cuts. Thank you, Taxin' John Kasich!

This despite the fact that Taxin' John's swollen, wild-spending budget was actually LARGER than Governor Strickland's last budget. It was a matter of who was getting the money. And it wasn't being spent in your local community on the services we expect. In education funding, much of the money was redirected to for-profit charter schools which are big campaign donors, but which usually provide sub-par education and give all charter schools a bad name.

This state income tax cut that's supposedly in the pipeline is only going to make things much, much worse, as more municipalities and townships end up between the rock and hard place of big leaps in property taxes or big cuts in school programs.

And speaking of property taxes, hey ... weren't they ruled unequal and hence unconstitutional more than 15 years ago? Well, equitable education funding that doesn't put the heaviest burden on those at the bottom hasn't been a priority for the governor and his legislature — too many abortion bills to be heard, apparently. Across the state, we're waiting with bated breath to see what kind of school funding proposal Taxin' John is going to make. Hold on to your wallets!

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