Ohio Overcomes Short Tax Collections with Surplus

Jul 9, 2017
photo of Tim Keen

In spite of tax collections coming in short for nearly all of the fiscal year that just ended, the state says it ended the year with a surplus.

Budget Director Tim Keen had predicted several times a positive ending balance for the fiscal year. And the state finished with what he wanted, a small cushion of just under $171 million. Keen says even though tax collections were nearly a billion dollars below estimates, a carryover balance from the start of the year helped.

The House overturned 11 of the 47 vetoes Gov. John Kasich issued on the state budget – the first time in 40 years lawmakers have overridden a budget veto in Ohio.

But Kasich is warning lawmakers their decisions have consequences. 

photo of Ohio House Chamber

There have been occasional disagreements between Ohio’s Republican-dominated House and Senate and fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich. But he’d issued more than a hundred vetoes in his seven years in office without one being overturned.

In a day, that changed dramatically.

For the first time in 40 years, state lawmakers voted to override a budget veto. And they did it 11 times, leaving only 36 of Kasich’s 47 vetoes, which were the most he’d ever issued on a spending plan. 

photo of Ohio House Chamber

Ohio’s Republican-dominated Legislature went six years without seriously threatening to override a veto from Gov. John Kasich. Today the House overrode not one, but 11 Kasich vetoes.

The veto overrides moved swiftly through the House with one item after another item getting overturned.

State lawmakers are trying to hash out a final budget deal that they can send to the governor’s desk. This includes how they’ll spend money to fight the opioid epidemic while closing a more than $1 billion budget hole. There’s a big issue that looms over the discussion.

The largest chunk of state spending is Medicaid. 

But the Congressional health care debate includes talks of dramatically cutting federal funding for Medicaid and Medicaid expansion, the latter has enrolled more than 700,000 Ohioans.