Kasich wants to use a fee increase on fracking operations to provide an income tax cut that would net the average Ohioan about 40 cents per week, or $21 per year.

Kasich’s plan reminds me of a great scene from the Simpson’s Movie: as the Simpson’s drive into Alaska, a state employee hands Homer $1000. Homer asks “why?” The explanation: “We pay every resident a thousand dollars to allow the oil companies to ravage our state’s natural beauty.”

If Ohio is committed to selling out to the oil companies, then, as Joe hinted at, there is a much better use for the money: restore the cuts to the Local Government Fund.

In the last budget approximately $550 million was cut from the Local Government Fund. A quick review of recent articles on the impact of state budget cuts reveals that communities face a choice of either cutting police or fire services, or raising taxes. But here is the kicker: the increase in local taxes is almost certainly greater than any tax cut from the state:

• Upper Arlington sought a special police and fire levy to make up lost funds.

• Bucyrus sought a levy for police and fire. The newspapers noted that the police department has 17 officers when city the size of Bucyrus should have at least 24 officers. “To put it bluntly, the safety forces are in dire straits,” police Chief Ken Teets was quoted as saying.

• Akron was able to hire eight new police officers last year. However, Public Service Director Rick Merolla was quoted as saying that his department is down about 20 percent from three years ago.

• The Cincinnati Enquirer noted that Amberley Village residents could see their local taxes more than double to pay for police service and Springfield Township sought alvey to avoid laying off firefighters.

You know it’s bad when the folks in California notice. A recent LA Times article highlighted the effects in the village of Uniopolis, where the entire police force (OK, one part-time officer) was eliminated. The article noted the effect of the loss of state government funds on law enforcement: “Around the state, police departments have laid off staff — in some cases, half of the officers.”

This does not seem all that complicated: by restoring the cuts to the local government fund, Kasich can provide sufficient public safety services and, likely, avoid having citizens pay higher local taxes. Indeed, it seems a bill to do just that has been introduced by State Rep. Ron Gerberry, D-Austintown, and State Rep. Sean O’Brien, D-Brookfield – we hope its gets a fair hearing.

Evangelize!
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  • Dave

    I agree, $21 is peanuts.  What we really need is some wells in Lake Erie.

  • Troysteelerfan

    Fair hearing…..now that’s funny. I am not going to hold my breath.

  • Capt.01%

     you must live downstate. Bet you’re for selling the turnpike too.
    My drinking water comes from the lake, as does alot of other Ohioans. I’d prefer it didn’t return to the condition it was in the 70′s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712336881 Emily Shaw

    Valid points, but I fail to see how the two are interconnected. Restoring cuts to local government does not make fracking permissible, I don’t care how high local taxes go or how many police offers are laid off. These are two entirely separate issues, and appealing to the unionite/working class/local government cuts to “ok” Kasich’s fracking money is misguided at best and a classic conservative red herring tactic at worst. I am really disappointed, Plunderbund.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712336881 Emily Shaw

    It’s unfair to assume that Dave is “for selling the turnpike.”  While I agree that all of the above are bad ideas and not sustainable for Ohioans let alone Ohio itself, attacking someone who is on your side is pretty counter-productive, Capt.01%.  Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.  How would I like it if I made some uncalled for remarks about your name and its relation to the economic disparity the Occupy movement is attempting to address?

    Moral of the story: Don’t criminalize your comrades; rather educate and empower all.

  • JLM452

    21 bucks?!! Hey, Wall Street Johnny said that he was going to do away with state income tax!

  • Capt.01%

     I read Dave’s comment as being pro-fracking.  If it was sarcastic, that sure didn’t come through. It read like a troll.
    My screen name is a reference to that, and to the old Capt. X% nicknames given to poorly performing candidates. I certainly don’t fall into that %, perhaps you shouldn’t aim for your foot.
    this and your above comment make me wonder about you? concern troll?

  • Dmoore2222

    I agree, Emily. Fracking tax revenue is basically a bribe and could never compensate for the  water, land and infrastructure pollution and damage that will occur. As he did in turning back the $400 million for commuter rail system, Kasich continues his race into the past.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712336881 Emily Shaw

    Well then.  I can see why you’re on the internet.

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