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Government and Politics

Ohio's governor insists lawmakers needn't fear higher oil and gas taxes
The governor's budget would use those taxes to offset cuts in income and sales taxes

Karen Kasler
Gov. Kasich reacts to a tax question at the unveiling of his two-year budget.
Courtesy of KAREN KASLER
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In The Region:

Tax cuts are the highlights of Gov. John Kasich's second biennial budget. In the plan unveiled today, he’s proposing an income tax cut of 50 percent for small businesses and  20 percent for everyone else over the next three years.

He also wants a drop in the state sales tax from 5.5 percent to 5 percent, though he would apply it to more services.

The tax cuts would be paid for in part with an increase in the severance tax on bigger oil and natural gas drillers, which Kasich knows worries some of his fellow Republican lawmakers.

KASICH understand oil and gas concerns

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“There are (House and Senate) members who for the first time in a generation are seeing job growth in their local communities. And they don’t want to disrupted. I respect that.

“But this is not going to disrupt their (drillers’) ability to come into this state. And since we’ve been in a discussion about this severance tax, we’ve seen at least a billion dollars invested in this state in this industry.”

The budget also includes an expansion of Medicaid to include people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, another proposal that may have trouble getting support from Republican legislators.

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