COLUMBUS, Ohio - Governor John Kasich has proposed a sweeping budget that slashes taxes and expands Medicaid to an estimated 360,000 Ohioans.
The two-year budget includes a 50% tax rate reduction for most small businesses, cuts the income tax rate statewide by 20% over three years starting with seven and a half percent this year and lowers the state sales tax from 5 1/2 to 5 percent while imposing the tax on more services.
"The purpose of this is to make sure Ohio remains competitive. We've had too many businesses and too many people that have left this state and taken their wallets with them," Kasich said.
The Republican Governor, who opposes ObamaCare, said he will push for expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law, giving more of Ohio's poor access to government care. Kasich says not extending Medicaid would see Ohioans federal dollars being used to expand health coverage in other states.
"It makes great sense for the state of Ohio because I think it will allow us to deliver care using our dollars," Kasich said.
Kasich now must persuade Republican state lawmakers to back his plan when many have concerns over the law's mandated coverage and campaigned against it last fall.
The governor's tax commissioner says Kasich is also proposing to broaden the tax base by increasing rates on out of state oil and gas developers who are involved in the shale boom and fracturing.
Kasich says it's a comprehensive budget that will turn Ohio around from where it was when he first took office.
"From an eight billion dollar deficit to a 1.9 billion dollar surplus, triggering an automatic tax cut of $400 million dollars. That is good news for every taxpayer in Ohio" said Kasich.