John Kasich is still trying to find supporters for his plan to raise severance taxes on oil and gas exploration in order to fund a tiny income tax cut.
Last week he held a news conference with Fred Dailey, the former director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, hoping to sway farmers to his position.
But when local public radio superstar Bill Cohen asked Kasich about the possibility that farmers could end up paying the tax increase instead of the drillers, Kasich dropped the ball.
Kasich not only insulted Mr. Cohen, but he also undermined the entire purpose of his press conference by saying that sure, some farmers will end up paying his proposed tax hike, but only if they aren’t “smart” enough to have negotiated a better lease with the oil and gas company.
Regardless of your position on the severance tax hike, it seems quite unfair and, in typical Kasich fashion, rude to expect a farmer to be an expert at writing oil and gas leases or to expect a landowner to have the foresight to know Kasich planned to quadruple the severance tax. And not having this expertise or foresight in no way makes these landowners not “smart”.
The Ohio Farm Bureau has yet to take a position on the tax hike, but I’m sure Kasich’s decision to insult the intelligence of many of their members certainly didn’t help win him any friends.