Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during a panel discussion with small business owners at Service Spring Corp in Maumee.
The Blade/Andy Morrison
MAUMEE - Gov. John Kasich took his second two-year budget on the road, meeting with local business people at a Maumee manufacturing plant to tout the tax cut elements of his plan.
Mr. Kasich and Tax Commissioner Joe Testa went through a foam-board presentation showing that the combination of business and income tax cuts will give 98 percent of business owners in the state a 50 percent tax cut.
Clearly energized by his plan, which coincides with enough of a rise in the state's economy to create a $1.9 billion surplus, Mr. Kasich said he still needs backing from Ohio's business owners.
"There are so many big things here that people are having a hard time digesting it all," Mr. Kasich said.
Most of the approximately 60 people were northwest Ohio business owners, among them Mike McAlear, owner of Service Spring Corp., where the panel discussion was held. Service Spring, with 150 employees, makes springs for overhead garage doors.
Mr. Kasich said the school funding formula in his two-year budget addresses a problem that has led to several decades of constitutional law challenges.
And he said his plan to borrow against Ohio Turnpike tolls to help create $3 billion worth of infrastructure spending will create 65,000 jobs, and has quickly quieted the critics.
Mr. Kasich urged his listeners to put pressure on the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which has not endorsed the plan. The budget cuts the state portion of the sales tax from 5.5 percent to 5 percent, but widens the number of professional services that are covered by the sales tax.
Democrats say the proposal to grant a 20 percent income tax cut over three years is a give-away to the rich. The $66.3 billion budget calls for a net tax cut of $1.4 billion, as well as an increase in the tax on shale drilling industry.
The General Assembly will hold hearings on the package, with the expectation of approving a budget before July 1.
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