Kasich against closing tax loopholes to help fill budget cuts


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As we reported yesterday, and verified this morning, it seems that a bi-partisain group of Ohio think tanks are going around to lawmakers and proposing that they take a look at the $8 billion in tax loopholes the state looses every year as a possible pool of money to help fill some of the deep cuts the administration is proposing in its budget.

I have written about this in the past, but it is time that lawmakers start to take a look billions of dollars in revenue that the state looses every year due to these tax loopholes. Some of these loopholes have been on the books for years and years and no one has gone back to take a look at the usefulness of the tax credits that the state is offering. If there is no economic usefulness for a tax credit there is no difference between that and the state simply collecting the revenue and spending it on something entirely different.  The logic behind tax credits has always been if the state offers a tax credit to entity X that will incentivize them to do Y which will lead to a net impact on the economy as a whole of Z. If the tax credit being offered is not leading to the impact that the state projected then the tax cut isn’t justified and should probably be repealed.

What is interesting is that the state of Ohio already does this.  If my business, Peyton LLC, wants to move to Ohio and I work with the Ohio Department of Development about receiving some possible tax cuts over the course of so many years if I guarantee that my business will create a certain amount of jobs, that is perfectly fine. In these negotiations though the Department of Development will say, Ok, we will give you these tax breaks but if your business does not create the projected jobs that you promise you have to agree to pay us back the taxes that we didn’t charge you.  There really isn’t any difference between these sort of agreements and closing tax loopholes that do not serve any economic purpose.

Which brings us to Governor Kasich and his bizarre insistence that he will not close any tax loopholes to help fill gaps in his budget. As the Plain Dealer reported this morning it seems that the Governor has no interest in this bi-partisian solution.

Kasich, however, is not interested in the proposal and doesn’t believe any of the loopholes, including the one for owners of time shares in jets, should be eliminated at this time.

Not only is this opinion, at best, economically illogical but, at worst,  it is fiscally irresponsible. No one is saying we need to get rid of every tax break that the state offers.  Some of them do a lot of good and are net positives on the great economy as a whole. Some of them though are just drains on the state’s revenue.

So why won’t Governor Kasich and other top Republicans get behind this rather simply solution? Yep, that’s right, our good friend Grover Norquist and his stupid no new tax pledge that he roped all these Republicans into signing and his threat to campaign against them if they support closing these tax loopholes.

Lets get this straight then. Grover Norquist, in this instance, is supporting economic policies that serve no purpose what so ever simply because they give the impression of raising a tax? I really can’t believe anyone listens to this guy. First of all he isn’t from Ohio, and as I’ve made it known in the past, we are perfectly capable of solving our problems on our own and we don’t need any carpetbagger coming in and telling use how to do it. Second, it is simply wrong to assume that because someone is not paying an existing tax now, that they would normally have to, and they will have to start paying it in the future, is the same thing as raising a tax.

If this Governor and leading Republicans want to pass on a opportunity to help direct much needed revenue to programs that desperately need it simply because they are beholding to a person who doesn’t have anything to do with Ohio, so be it. If that is the case though, I suggest they all get other jobs, because if we can’t count on them to solve these tough issues because they are afraid than what good are they really?

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