Tags: kasich | tax | reform | fight

Kasich Readies for a Fight Over Tax Reform

Thursday, 02 Aug 2012 12:52 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is looking to pay for state income tax cuts next year by targeting more than $7 billion in tax credits, deductions, and exemptions for elimination.

The Columbus Dispatch, quoting sources close to the Republican governor, reported that his ambitious plan would rely primarily on doing away with about $5 billion in sales tax exemptions.

But the newspaper noted that he could have a tough time politically trying to stop exemptions for prescription drugs, deductions for spouses and children, and credits for political contributions, among other things.

Nonetheless, Kasich sounded Wednesday like he was willing to take the heat.

“I can tell you that when we engage in tax reform there will be a lot of squeals and a lot of howls from people that want to be for the status quo,” he told reporters.

State lawmakers have been hesitant in the past about blocking tax loopholes because many consumers, businesses, and nonprofits benefit from them. For example, deductions for Ohio churches amount to about $430 million a year.

“The special interest groups dominate,” Kasich said. “And it’s not just big spenders. It’s people who say, ‘No, I like what I get from the government . . . and if you change it, it’s really not good for me.’ So they yell and scream at the decision-makers, the policymakers, and it never happens.”

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