Gov. John Kasich made a surprise appearance on the floor of the Ohio House yesterday, to tell lawmakers to expect a tough budget because Ohio is on “the verge of a recession”. But a report from his budget office doesn’t back up that claim.
Ohio’s unemployment rate is near the national average and economic growth has been up slightly – the opposite of recession conditions. But income tax revenue is coming in about three percent lower than projections. A report from the state budget office says lower revenues are due to rate cuts and a small business tax cut. But that office’s director Tim Keen says tax cuts have helped Ohio. “Our policies that make us a more competitive place – not withstanding the soft patch that we seem to be seeing and the risks that the Governor’s concerned about – have improved our circumstances relative to what might have been.”
Lawmakers have made it clear they’re open to more cuts in Kasich’s upcoming budget, but not to tax increases to pay for them.