Tag Archives: Ohio budget

Gov. Kasich Set to Veto $30 Million to Nursing Homes

Several sources have indicated to the Columbus Dispatch that Gov. John Kasich is prepared to veto the $30 million for nursing homes that Republican legislators added to the mid-biennium review (Source: “Nursing homes’ $30M pop may fizzle,” Columbus Dispatch, May 31, 2012).

Nursing homes had won support in both the Republican-controlled House and Senate for the $30 million by pointing out that the industry has experienced more than $850 million in federal Medicare cuts this year; $39 million less in state funding compared to last year and that the money would be used to assist nursing homes in adhering to the governor’s new quality standards for long-term care.

The amendment added to the mid-biennium review submitted by Republican state Rep. Barbara Sears of Toledo would create a pool of money to reward nursing homes for meeting more than five of those quality standards.

However, administration officials point out that policy changes they have implemented to make it easier for Ohioans to seek care in non-institutional settings were expected to lead to a downsizing of the industry.

“It’s clear to us that so far in (the state budget) we got this right,” said Greg Moody, director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation. “That’s what’s in our mind as we approach this final stage of reviewing the changes that were made to the (mid-biennium review).”

Source:Ohio Health Policy Review, June 1, 2012.

Stop Gov. Kaisch from Selling Roads to the Highest Bidder

Don’t let Governor Kasich sell or lease the Ohio turnpike. Why should we pay foreigners for the privilege of riding on our own money-generating highway system that we built and paid for? It is currently earning approximately $250 million a year for Ohio. We would only gain a one-time infusion of additional money to pay current bills that your kids and future generations will be paying for many years to come.

This sale has major functional problems. Previous sales in other states have lessened their ability maintain and care for their roads and has prevented them from implementing needed expansion. This has also curtailed their ability to make proper decisions that affect local businesses.

We will have inadequate control of future toll increases. Indiana mistakenly sold their toll road system to a foreign company. Drivers complain that the prices have doubled over 5 years. The cost to travel the Ohio turnpike today is $15; in just 5 years time your cost could be $30 or more!

Tell Governor Kasich Ohio is NOT for sale!

More States Abandon Film Tax Incentives as Programs’ Ineffectiveness Becomes More Apparent, Except Ohio

Film tax credits fail to live up to their promises to encourage economic growth overall and to raise tax revenue. States claim these incentives create jobs, but the jobs created are mostly temporary positions, often transplanted from other states. Furthermore, the competition among states transfers a large portion of potential gains to the movie industry, not to local businesses or state coffers.

In 2010, a record 40 states offered $1.4 billion in film and television tax incentives. All told, states have provided nearly $6 billion for such programs over the past decade. 2010 will likely stand as the peak year, since many governors and legislators are ending their programs, preferring to use the money for other priorities or leave it with taxpayers.

Thus far, 17 states have either cut or cut back their funding for the film and television tax incentive programs.

After early indications that he might challenge the program, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) sought no changes.

In March, the Dayton Daily News reported about the relief of the many Dayton area art, film and tv production organizations. Many are supported by the Ohio Art Council.

Although an economic development boom the art and film industry is an overstatement, the many organizations do provide both meaningful employment and volunteer work for a substantial number of area residents. One such organization is the Xenia Area Community Theatre.

Source: Fiscal Facts,Tax Foundation, June 2, 2011

Lear: State government on the wrong path to balanced budget

Ohio lost another opportunity to show its true strength last Thursday as state government failed again to balance its budget with Ohio resources. Beth Lear, candidate for the 2nd House District, decried the lack of moral courage by state leaders who raised the income tax, took a handout from Uncle Sam, and failed to reform education during the late night budget vote.

“Once again Ohio’s elected leaders failed the people. They knew what the right thing was,” Lear said Thursday. “Instead of hearing the wake-up call to focus our energy and assets on the basics of limited, constitutional government, they raised our taxes to balance their bloated budget on the backs of the people.”

Lear said the $894 million tax increase is unacceptable – especially because it is retroactive to the beginning of 2009. A retroactive tax destroys the tax planning of Ohio’s small business owners, many of whom are based in Delaware County.

“I’m especially disappointed with the Republicans who supported this tax-and-spend policy,” Lear continued. “After the last presidential election, Chairman DeWine was correct in saying the GOP is paying because it has left our conservative roots of fiscal responsibility and limited government. I will bring those values back to the state house next year.”

Implemented in 1972, the Ohio income tax has been a disaster, Lear said. Its very existence has damaged individual liberty, while facilitating the rapid growth of the public sector at all levels.

“Few people realize that spending is not free,” said Lear. “Study after study has shown that public sector spending kills jobs and creates economic woe for Ohioans. The unemployment rate rose in November to 10.6 percent. Perhaps the Democrats who supported this retroactive tax increase are trying to help Michigan inch ahead of Ohio in economic performance – that would make us 50th instead of 49th.”

Lear was raised in Delaware County, where she lives with her husband and two children. She is a former policy analyst with the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy and a long-time legislative aide. Her campaign website is www.BethLear.com.

3C is Going to Cost, Cost, Cost Ohio Taxpayers

By Marc Kilmer

Hopping a train and riding from Cincinnati to Cleveland or Columbus certainly seems like a popular idea. Opinion polls show strong support for it, a wide variety of civic organizations are backing it, and people are coming to meetings excited to see the trains roll. All this begs the question, though — if passenger rail is so popular, why do Ohio’s taxpayers need to subsidize almost 60% of its yearly cost?

There is often a difference between what people say and what they actually do. It’s easy to tell a pollster you are in favor of something. That’s an abstract question. But when it comes to actually paying money to achieve that object or otherwise paying a cost for it, many times the actions people take differs from what they tell pollsters. Other priorities take precedence over this objective they supposedly strongly supported.

Passenger rail in Ohio is a perfect example of this. The government agencies and community groups advocating for rail routinely trumpet opinion polls showing the strong support for their position. Amtrak’s recently completed feasibility study of passenger rail in the state, though, shows that this supposedly strong support is an illusion.

Sure, passenger rail supporters claim otherwise. They say that since Amtrak predicts nearly 500,000 people will ride it every year, there is a huge demand for rail service. This number is a bit misleading, though, as it includes people who will make multiple trips a year on the train. As other passenger rail systems have shown, a small number of people make numerous trips. Usually these are higher-income workers who travel between cities for meetings. The vast majority of people who have access to passenger rail never set foot in a train station.

Even if there are 500,000 trips a year on this new service (a dubious proposition), those riding the trains would only do so if someone else paid for most of the cost of their ride. Passenger rail users in Ohio would only pay for 41% of the cost of operating the system. State taxpayers would be paying the rest. If you have a business selling a product for forty-one cents that costs you $1.00 to manufacture, then you don’t really have a product people want.

Of course, the situation gets even worse for passenger rail advocates. Not only would taxpayers be required to pay $17 million a year for a system that costs $29 million a year to operate, they would also be required to fund the system’s start-up costs, which would run close to $500 million. And given the history of rail projects around the nation, it’s almost certain these initial estimates will be exceeded by the actual cost of the project.

Rail enthusiasts claim that of course passenger rail will be subsidized by taxpayers, just like all other transportation is subsidized. What they overlook is that road transportation is almost entirely funded by gas taxes paid by drivers and other vehicle-related revenue such as car registration fees. Air travel receives a subsidy, certainly, but it is less than one cent per passenger mile. Rail, on the other hand, receives twenty-two cents per passenger mile. When it comes to fleecing the taxpayers for transportation subsidies, rail is king.

Ohio’s backers of rail contend that Ohio’s neighbors are proceeding with passenger rail so Ohio shouldn’t be left behind. It’s true that taxpayers in Michigan, Illinois, and other states are subsidizing passenger rail in their states. If these state governments are wasting money, does it mean Ohio should, too? Lawmakers in some of these states are reconsidering their support for passenger rail. Michigan, for instance, is looking to slash rail subsidies and rail ridership is declining. These states would be in a much better fiscal position if they would have never begun rail subsidies in the first place.

Passenger rail may sound good in theory but when it actually comes to paying for it, those who would ride it just aren’t willing to pay its full cost. With Ohio’s budget problems, it makes little sense to ask taxpayers to pay the tickets of the small minority of state residents who would take the train. Any way you look at it, if passenger rail returns to Ohio, only a few Ohioans will use it, but every taxpayer will be taken for a ride.