The 2014 MBR: Building on What Works
Ohio and the nation are emerging from one of the worst economic periods in our history. But, we're getting Ohio back on track thanks to fiscal restraint, jobs-friendly policies, reforms to K-12 education, job training and higher education, and support for the most vulnerable Ohioans. Ohio now enjoys a balanced budget, a $1.5 billion surplus, and 238,000 new-private sector jobs. Continuing that progress means building on the policies that we know work.
Across the Board Income Tax Cuts: Ohio's income taxes are still too high and are a barrier to job creation. In his 2014 Mid-Biennium Review, Governor John R. Kasich proposes new income tax cuts for all Ohio taxpayers that will lower state income taxes 8.5 percent over the next three years across all income levels and reduce the top income tax rate below 5 percent. Once enacted, this means that in the past three years Ohio's top marginal income tax rate will have been reduced by 22 percent from 5.925 percent in 2011 to 4.88 percent in 2016.
New Tax Relief for Low- and Middle-Income Ohioans: Expanding the state's Earned Income Tax Credit and targeting new increases to the income tax's personal exemption for low- and middle-income families helps ensure that all Ohioans share in our state's on-going economic recovery.
Strengthening Education and Workforce Training: High-quality education and training programs help ensure that Ohioans can take advantage of our state's ever-expanding economic opportunities and that job-creators have the workforce they need to compete and succeed. Highlights of new MBR proposals that help achieve these goals include:
- New efforts to help prevent students from dropping out of high school;
- New mentorship strategies to boost community support for schools and help students get motivated about careers;
- Letting students as young as the 7th grade begin learning about careers via our high-quality vocational education schools;
- Giving more students an early start on college credits while they are still in high school;
- Focusing our colleges more on successful student outcomes rather than just enrollment rates; and
- Giving our veterans an easier transition to the home front with academic credit for military training and experience.
Caring for Ohioans: The governor is committed to making sure that vulnerable Ohioans are not left out of the benefits of our state's ongoing recovery. The MBR therefore increases support for Ohioans with mental illness and addiction, expands Ohio's new Start Talking! drug abuse prevention campaign and dedicates new funds to tobacco cessation.
BOTTOM LINE: Ohio's getting back on track, but we've got more work to do, so we can't let up in continuing to pursue reforms and policies that we know are working. The governor's 2014 Mid-Biennium Review proposes new, needed changes across a range of topics, all designed to keep Ohio moving forward.