Governor Kasich released his proposed two year budget for Ohio Fiscal Year 2012 and 2013 on March 15, 2011. Ohio is facing a projected deficit of $8 billion over the span of the budget. Kasich is proposing privatizing state liquor sales and five state prisons in order to raise revenue. In addition to the privatization of these agencies, Kasich has proposed significant cuts to funds in order to balance the budget. One of the significant budget cuts is the local government fund. This is a large area of spending and may lead to local governments trying to make up the funding difference by putting levy’s on the ballot to increase local taxes for schools. In addition, it seems as though the administration is pushing for municipal income tax reform.
The proposed budget does currently allow for the final phase-down of the personal income tax. In addition, General Revenue funds have been allocated to the Board of Tax appeals to try to help solve the problem of the large backlog of cases at that level. With property values decreasing, there has been a significant increase in appeals which have led to a backlog of some cases of up to 7+ years!
With the current state of the economy, we will be hearing a lot about specific funding cuts until the budget is final. Only time will reveal the final specifics of the budget. The majority of the budget, with any changes, will be passed into legislation by June 30th, the beginning of the next fiscal year. Click here for the status of the budget or specifics on spending in any area. GBQ will be reporting back if there are major changes to the proposed budget and letting you know once the budget is final.