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Ohio House Expected To Revise Kasich Tax, School Proposal

Ohio State budget
Members of the Ohio House call for changes in Governor Kasich's budget proposal.

The Ohio House plans to unveil major changes Tuesday to Gov. John Kasich's proposed budget, including overhauls to his tax and education plans.

The governor's fellow Republicans who dominate the House are likely to gut Kasich's sweeping tax package contained in his $72.3 billion, two-year spending blueprint. The plan saw widespread opposition from business groups and state representatives, who disliked increases Kasich proposed to business taxes, oil and gas severance taxes and cigarette taxes.

Part of the money from those increases would help pay for Kasich's plan to cut the state income-tax rate by 23 percent over the next two years, a concept that the GOP supports.

Under the governor's proposal, by 2017, the top marginal income-tax rate will have fallen from about 5.9 percent in 2011 to 4.1 percent.

Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Finance Chairman Ryan Smith are scheduled to discuss the House revisions ahead of a hearing Tuesday afternoon. The finance committee is then scheduled to take testimony on its changes the remainder of the week.

Representatives also are likely to revisit Kasich's education formula, which increases school foundation funding by $700 million but gives less money to more than half of public school districts due to changes that are intended to better reflect a district's capacity to raise revenue.

The changes result in the poorest districts tending to see increases and the wealthiest tending to see cuts, although that pattern doesn't apply in every case.

The House has been taking a closer look at the governor's plans to help tackle poverty.

Kasich wants to use $310 million in existing state and federal dollars to create more comprehensive approach to address the needs of people receiving public assistance such as food stamps, childcare support, housing aid or cash assistance, so they can become more self-sufficient.

The governor also has called for evaluation standards to see how well the state is helping Ohioans.