Gov. John Kasich vowed that as chief executive he would work to lower taxes. He has labeled them as bad for the state because it makes Ohio less competitive.
During his campaign, Republican Kasich rapped his opponent, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, for delaying the final year of a five-year, 21 percent income tax reduction.
Kasich promised he would let it take affect and leave it in place, even though he faced a budget shortfall projected to be as large as $8 billion.
Strickland, who took office in 2007, had approved a pair of state budgets that included four years of state income tax cuts, which initially were passed by Republican Gov. Bob Taft and a GOP-controlled legislature in 2005.
But in 2009, Strickland needed a way to fill a hole of more than $800 million in the education portion of the state budget that was opened up when the governor's plan to use slot machines at racetracks was blocked by a possible referendum. So he proposed, and the legislature approved, freezing the final year of the cut.
The reduction took effect Jan. 1, 2011.
Kasich unveiled his first two-year budget proposal on March 15, and the accompanying documents contain this statement: "His proposal delivers a balanced budget that returns Ohio to fiscal stability, without raising taxes while preserving the two-year $800 million income tax cut.”
A compromise version of the budget that preserved the cut cleared the General Assembly on June 29, 2011. The governor signed it into law on June 30.
It"s still early in Kasich"s term and plenty of time for change, but for now, based on passage of this two-year spending plan, we move the Kasich-O- Meter for this promise to Promise Kept.