I have been reading with great interest all of the hullabaloo from state Rep. Nick Barborak about the recent passage of the state budget. Though Barborak doesn't realize it, money does not simply appear just because the government wants it to. He keeps bringing up budget cuts that were made two years ago yet makes no mention of why those cuts were made in the first place.
Just two years ago, when facing an $8 billion budget deficit that Ted Strickland created, the Democrats' only suggestion was their boilerplate response to everything: Raise taxes. Republicans disagreed. The budget hole was filled without raising taxes, and now, just two years later, residents of Ohio are actually seeing a net tax decrease.
Mr. Barborak also falsely claims that the budget raises property taxes on seniors and the disabled. In his world, spreading a false class warfare narrative trumps telling the truth any day. In reality, no seniors currently receiving the Homestead Exemption tax relief will lose it. But moving forward, the program will only benefit the people it was originally supposed to help: low-income seniors. Governor Strickland expanded the program to people who didn't need it, and in doing so increased costs on taxpayers.
The same goes for the property tax rollback, which Barborak treats as some gift that the state charitably gives to landowners. What the tax rollback really did was increase government costs, which again were handed down to taxpayers. The Kasich budget restores fairness and transparency to the property tax system in Ohio. When the state covered the first 12.5 percent of property taxes imposed by local levies, all it was really doing was taking that much more money out of the hands of Ohioans prior to doling it back out. This cost was borne by people regardless of whether they owned property, including low-income seniors and, yes, even the disabled. After all, the government cannot distribute money until it first takes it from the people who earn it.
If Governor Kasich and Republicans in the legislature really hated schools and local governments so much, then why would they have increased funding at all during this budget cycle? The difference is clear: No matter the reality, Democrats provide a laundry list of things that they say need funding. Their policies, however, make actually funding them in the long term impossible.
I recall Mr. Barborak stating that he intended to go to Columbus with an open mind. He was going to set partisanship aside. Work with both sides to get something accomplished for this county. So far all he has done is vote lock step with the state Democrat caucus, always preferring more spending and higher taxes as opposed to the alternative. Haven't we had enough of this out of Washington?
Editor's note:?Mr. Newbold is a former state representative for Columbiana County.