State of the State Address
Overhauling the tax system that Ohio uses to pay for everything from schools to hospital care for the poor dominated Gov. Bob Taft's seventh State of the State address Tuesday.I'm not impressed. The governor has to get something done. The goal is to reduce taxes altogether, not spread them out over more people.
The Republican proposed a sweeping change in business taxes so that more companies pay, but at a lower rate. He also proposed to cut by 21 percent the rates on personal income taxes, paid by individuals and businesses. Ohioans who make less than $10,000 a year would pay no state income tax, he said.
"We must slow our spending, get the broken tax code off our backs, and release the powerful energies of this great state," he said.
In his second to last annual address as governor, Taft called on lawmakers to stand tough against industry lobbying groups as they replace a Depression-era system that continues to focus on goods while the state's economy is increasingly services-based.
"We'll all hear the chorus of complaints from the special interests who feel threatened by change," Taft said. "So we must have the courage to prevail. We must remain committed to the very end."
The tax plan would raise $800 million less over two years, for a budget that already will be taking in $4 billion to $5 billion less than the one passed in 2003. He'll look for savings by reducing spending on the state's Medicaid program and keeping budgets tight at most agencies.
Taft, 63, tried to change the tax system two years but was stymied by lawmakers who balked at the price tag and felt they weren't consulted early and often enough.
The article is short on details...I'll have to see what else I can dig up...