American for Tax Reform urges support for Ohio Gov. Kasich's budget

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, Ohio - Governor John Kasich's biennial budget got a vote of approval from Americans for Tax Reform.

In a letter to state legislators, the group's president Grover Norquist said "this budget reduces income taxes across the board, giving much needed tax relief to Ohio families and small businesses of all sizes.

"It also broadens the sales tax rate and lowers the rate from 5.5 percent to 5 percent. The overall impact of the tax changes is a $1.3 billion tax cut," wrote Norquist.

"For those of you who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a vote for this budget is compliant with the pledge," he said.

Speaking with small business owners in Brooklyn Heights, the governor welcomed the support.

"I'm pleased that Americans for Tax Reform have endorsed this," Kasich said.

"We achieve this not just with broadening the base but there's restraint in spending, all of which comes together and the good stewardship over the last two years gives us that very significant surplus some of which can be sent back to the taxpayers."

The $63.3 billion budget introduced in Columbus on Monday seeks to lower income taxes by 20 percent for all Ohioans, but by 50 percent for small business owners on their first $750,000 in earnings.

"A 50 percent tax cut for small business, which is the engine of economic growth, plus reducing that overall income tax for all Ohioans is going to put us in a much better place to have economic growth. We're seeing it in our state already, we need more of it," the governor said.

Kasich is also calling for a 4 percent severance tax on the state's major oil and gas producers as Ohio looks to share in wealth of economic activity being created by fracking.

Under the current law, oil producers pay 20 cents on every barrel of oil pumped in the state.

"We think that when they take stuff out of the ground they ought to pay some tax for what they're depleting," said Kasich Tuesday.

"Four percent doesn't sound like a lot and frankly it isn't a lot but we think it's enough to produce some benefit for everybody that lives in Ohio and at the same time is not going to provide a disincentive for these companies to come here because if you tax them to high they may say I'll go somewhere else."

The danger of the legislature not signing off on the four percent tax Kasich warns is the measure winding up on the ballot at which time the rate could end up being hire than four percent.

"I think this is a way to get this resolved and let every Ohioan benefit from the efforts of the oil companies in Ohio," Kasich said.

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