Over and over again during his campaign for governor, John Kasich called for an end to Ohio's estate tax.
He labeled it as a "death tax" that was driving successful people from the state to preserve their assets. On the campaign trail he frequently would tell the crowd that if they wanted to find a successful Ohio entrepreneur they should look in Naples, Fla.
"Kill the death tax. You know the death tax, all these people who are successful, they're moving to Florida," he told WSYX Channel 6 in Columbus after announcing his candidacy. "Florida doesn't have a death tax. So we've got to get rid of that so the entrepreneurs, the job creators, stay."
Ohio doesn't collect tax on an estate unless its net taxable value is greater than $338,333, according to the Taxation Department. (The Census Bureau reports that Ohio's 2009 median family income was about $57,000 -- and the median value of an Ohio owner-occupied housing unit about $135,000.)
Municipalities get 80 percent of estate tax revenue. That amounted to about $231 million in the last fiscal year.
For Kasich to reach this goal, it will require cooperation from the General Assembly, but given that his party controls both chambers that help shouldn't be difficult to find.
House Speaker William G. Batchelder put repealing the estate tax high on the list of priorities for the House. On Tuesday (Jan. 11) House Republicans introduced legislation that included estate tax repeal as one piece of a broader plan to revamp how state and local governments deliver services.
The legislation still needs to move through the House and the Senate before Kasich could sign it.
But given the introduction of legislation, we move the rating for this Kasich-O-Meter promise to In the Works.