Less than a month after Ohio Governor John Kasich signed his most recent round of tax cuts into law the reviews are less than glowing. This week Zach Schiller with Policy Matters Ohio wrote a piece very much worth reading in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Schiller makes the important point (and one backed up by ITEP data) that most of the recent tax cuts signed into law by Kasich overwhelmingly benefit wealthy Ohioans. He rightly concludes, “Instead of reinforcing inequality with tax cuts that favor the affluent, we should use this revenue to restore funding to local governments, which have cut tens of thousands of workers.”
Kasich’s tax plan did include an increase in the state’s very limited Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but the Cleveland Plain Dealer gets it right in this editorial when they argue that the expansion from five to ten percent of the federal credit wasn’t enough. This is because Ohio’s current credit is nonrefundable, meaning that families with no income tax liability but who pay a large share of their incomes in sales and property taxes do not get the credit. For those with taxable income exceeding $20,000 the already paltry credit is further limited. For more on ways that Ohio and other states can improve their EITCs read ITEP’s comprehensive report on options for expanding these vital credits.