Don’t give up on Kasich’s tax plan yet

Tax relief for working Ohioans and small businesses would provide an enormous boost to the state’s economy. And, of course, the 20 percent income tax cut proposed by Gov. John Kasich certainly would be welcome in most households.

Kasich’s proposal is in trouble, however, because of the method the governor initially proposed to fund it. Legislators debating a state budget for the next two years have all but killed the plan.

There are some legitmate concerns. Part of Kasich’s proposal to offset revenue lost through cuts in the income tax and small business taxes is to increase the severance tax on oil and natural gas. Some Ohioans worry that might dampen enthusiasm for drilling gas and oil wells. The target Marcellus and Utica shale formations underlie several states, after all.

Kasich’s plan to lower the sales tax on some consumer sales, but to apply it to a host of new types of sales, also has drawn substantial criticism.

Without new revenue or massive state spending cuts, Kasich’s tax relief campaign will be dead on arrival at the Statehouse.

But there have been reports the governor and legislative leaders are not ready to give up. Good. Again, the amount of good tax relief envisioned by the governor would accomplish is enormous.

Perhaps other ways of offsetting revenue lost from the tax cuts can be found. That seems to be the hope in Kasich’s office and among legislators.

They should persist in combing through the budget for ways of making the tax relief package a reality. It may be that a less hefty increase than Kasich planned in the severance tax and a more limited expansion of the sales tax base can be combined with other revenue sources to make the governor’s good idea a reality. Efforts to do that should continue.