Friday, April 19, 2013

Cutting Taxes for Ohioans—Long Overdue

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

In 1983, shortly after I started my first term in the Ohio House of Representatives, Governor Dick Celeste proposed a biennial budget that made an income tax hike permanent and increased government spending. At that time the legislature was made up of a majority of Democrats in the House and in the Senate who went along with Governor Celeste’s tax increase. As a result Ohio’s economy has struggled since and many young people have followed a trail out of Ohio.

We now have evidence that increasing taxes does not solve a revenue problem and it was the wrong direction for Ohio then and it still is now. Since Governor Kasich took office in 2011, he has taken steps that have reduced unemployment in Ohio—and raised Ohio to the number-one job creator in the Midwest. Those jobs have come from the private sector where reduced regulation and the elimination of Ohio’s death tax makes this state a promising place to do business.

Since 1983, Ohio has gone from 21 U.S. Congressman to 16. During that time period, tens of thousands of our young who were reared in this great state left for opportunities in other states. That loss of talent has hurt our workforce and we must take proactive steps to change that downward spiral. In the past several years we have reduced the income tax increase some, but not enough. Continuing to reduce the 1983 income tax increase will make Ohio more competitive with other states and will allow Ohio workers to keep the money they worked for. Ohioans shouldn’t be punished when they work a second job to send their kids through college or get a raise for doing well at their job. You work hard for your money and we should reward that hard work. That attitude will bring more talent to Ohio’s workforce and employers will gain more interest in moving to Ohio.

The government can’t create jobs; that is best left to entrepreneurs and risk takers. To succeed we need cheap energy and a good workforce—when you combine the two Ohio will be an economic juggernaut that other states look to as a model for economic growth.

In west central Ohio, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. Although there are still people looking for jobs, we have an opportunity to welcome those who have left for job opportunities to come back here to serve as part of our talent pool. Bringing Ohioans home to this great region should be considered a focus for politicians and those who work in workforce development. West central Ohio is the best place in the world to live, work and rear a family. Cutting Ohio’s income tax will help provide more people an opportunity to share in the blessings of this region.

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