TAXES

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suc­ceed term-limited John Ka­sich and keep the gov­er­nor’s of­fice in GOP hands.

Tay­lor pro­poses to con­tinue low­er­ing in­come taxes, and ul­ti­mately move to­ward a flat rate. She wants to en­act a sim­pli­fied tax re­form that would al­low Ohioans to file their taxes on a form the size of a post­card. “Busi­nesses and in­di­vid­ual tax­pay­ers have been call­ing for a sim­pler, stream­lined, cus­tomer-fo­cused tax cul­ture,” she said.

She says the down­sized tax feat can be ac­com­plished by “carv­ing out spe­cial­in­ter­est de­duc­tions” in the tax code. Asked to iden­tify the de­duc­tions on the chop­ping block, the Tay­lor cam­paign replied “TBD” — to be de­ter­mined.

Tay­lor also has crit­i­cized what she con­sid­ers overly ag­gres­sive tax-col­lec­tion prac­tices she be­lieves are puni­tive for busi­nesses and res­i­dents, say­ing, “Tax­pay­ers should never be pe­nal­ized for good-faith ef­forts to com­ply.”

Atop the $5 bil­lion in cu­mu­la­tive tax cuts on Ka­sich’s watch, DeWine like­wise wants to con­tinue ef­forts to re­duce in­come taxes with an eye to­ward a “fairer, flat­ter tax” to lower the bur­den on fam­i­lies and job cre­ators.

Ohio risks chok­ing off its DeWine Tay­lor eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness if it fails to im­prove its tax cli­mate to bet­ter com­pete with lower-tax states, DeWine says.

Both Repub­li­cans sup­port re­tain­ing the $1.1 bil­liona-year busi­ness tax cut de­nounced by Democrats as de­priv­ing Ohio of rev­enue that could be spent to bet­ter fund schools, lo­cal gov­ern­ments and the fight against opi­oid abuse.

Ohio must take more steps to re­main busi­ness- and job-friendly by cre­at­ing a cli­mate that at­tracts cor­po­rate in­vest­ment, both Tay­lor and DeWine said. And both sup­port Job­sOhio, Ka­sich’s pri­va­tized eco­nomic-de­vel­op­ment agency. Tay­lor op­poses mak­ing more of its records pub­lic, while DeWine wants more trans­parency that in­cludes steps to mea­sure its per­for­mance.

Tay­lor would al­low Ohio vot­ers to make the call on bor­row­ing money to fight the opi­oid cri­sis, whose vic­tims in­clude her two re­cov­er­ing adult sons.

She pro­poses seek­ing voter ap­proval of a 10-year, $1 bil­lion state bond is­sue to award grants and ze­roin­t­er­est loans to stim­u­late pri­vate and non­profit in­vest­ment in ad­dic­tion­treat­ment ser­vices and re­search into med­i­cal al­ter­na­tives to opi­oid painkillers.

DeWine also has a plan to fight opi­oids and hopes to reach fi­nan­cial set­tle­ments with opi­oid drug man­u­fac­tur­ers and dis­trib­u­tors to fund the fight. The drug cri­sis is im­per­il­ing Ohio’s work­force, he warns, as ev­i­denced by some em­ploy­ers’ dif­fi­cul­ties in find­ing work­ers who can pass drug tests. “It al­ready is a huge ball and chain on our econ­omy, be­sides all the hu­man tragedy and loss,” DeWine said.

Both can­di­dates say that K-12 ed­u­ca­tion and di­rectly funded ef­forts to fight the opi­oid cri­sis would top their spend­ing pri­or­i­ties when the new gov­er­nor sub­mits a two-year bud­get pro­posal in early 2019.

DeWine says his bud­get would bet­ter fund early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion and take steps to se­cure more high-per­form­ing schools and make stu­dents job- or col­lege-ready.

Tay­lor says killing Com­mon Core ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards would help re­store lo­cal con­trol of class­rooms, and she fa­vors elim­i­nat­ing some test­ing and caps on state aid in­creases to wealth­ier, grow­ing dis­tricts.

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