Income tax cut, Medicaid expansion in Kasich's budget - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Income tax cut, Medicaid expansion in Kasich's budget

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Ohio Governor John Kasich unveiled his two year budget on Monday.

The Republican is calling for income tax cuts for individuals across all tax brackets, as well as small businesses. Plus, there is one item that may be a tough sell for members of his own party who control the Ohio House and Senate: expanding Medicaid.

"I'm very hopeful at the end of the day that they will get this because this is not an endorsement of Obamacare," says Kasich.

Kasich presented what he calls "Ohio's Jobs Budget 2.0" on the 31st floor of the Riffe Center across the street from the Capitol.

He supports expanding Medicaid coverage to the working poor: adults making $15,415 or less per year.

"We don't want 275,000 Ohioans getting their primary care in an Emergency Room. It is non sustainable. It doesn't work. It is not humane and it costs everybody a lot of money," says Kasich.

Greg Moody, the Director of Health Transformation in the Kasich Administration, says the federal government will pay 100% of the cost for three years.

"The decision lets us keep Ohioans' federal tax dollars in Ohio. That's 13 billion dollars over the next seven years," says Moody.

Kasich's budget also calls for tax reform.

The plan includes a 50% income tax cut for small businesses, a 20% personal income tax cut across all tax brackets over three years, and a 9% cut in the sales tax rate. The sales tax would go from 5.5% to 5%. At the same time the sales tax would broaden to include services such as lawyers, architects, accountants, and lobbyists.

"The purpose of this is to make sure Ohio remains competitive," says Kasich. "We've had too many businesses, too many people who have left this state and taken their wallets with them."

"Significant efforts have been made over the last two year to bring us from a $7.7 billion structural imbalance to the near $2 billion surplus," says Timothy Keen, Director of Office of Budget and Management in the Kasich Administration.

"It's all pretty darn exciting but we can't take our foot off the gas," says Kasich.

Kasich's proposed budget also includes education reform, which he outlined last week, which is focused on helping students in poor districts compete.

Plus, it includes putting people to work with transportation projects by borrowing against future turnpike revenue while interest rates are historically low.

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