Ohio has been ranked 4th in the nation for business site selection, but 47th in business tax climate. Businesses want to come to Ohio but are scared off by the high cost of operating here. Those costs are not hard to identify - high taxes and government regulation. Piecemeal incentives, such as tax abatements and development assistance, are not enough to overcome the burden of big government. If we are to prevent our state from falling into the same downward economic spiral as other industrial states, such as Michigan, we must make wholesale changes on two critical issues: taxes and state government restructuring. We must ecognize that government does not create jobs. In fact 60% to 70% of all new jobs are created by small business. The state must create an environment where small business can grow and prosper.
According to the Tax Foundation, Ohio has one of the highest combined local and state tax burdens in the country. (Click HERE to read the Tax Foundation Report). Our state has gone from having one of the lowest burdens (45th in the country) in 1977, to the 4th highest today! It is no mystery that as the Ohio tax burden has grown, the Ohio economy has shrunk! This high level of taxation keeps businesses from moving to the Buckeye State. Sadly this in turn drives our college graduates to other states in search of jobs. A recent survey noted that 60% of recent graduates planned to leave Ohio to pursue their career! We simply cannot afford such a “brain drain”.
We must also eliminate redundancy and increase the efficiency of our state government. We must cut the state budget enough to begin actually eliminating the state income tax. Deep cuts in the state’s bureaucracy, such as Ohio’s state Medicaid system, which is 40% costlier than the national average, are not unrealistic. By targeting these spending excesses, our legislature could reduce the state budget to the point where a state income tax would be unnecessary. Other states such as Texas and Florida prosper with no state income tax. Ohio can again be home to good jobs if we can just reduce the tax burden on our citizens!
Gas Wells, Septic Systems and Big Government
Geauga and Portage Counties must be allowed to control their own future. In recent years we havesuffered the consequences of decisions made in Columbus “for our own good” which have led to disasters in locally. The regulation of gas wells and septic systems are two glaring examples of the failures of big government. The State legislature decided in 2004 that it knew better than local cities and townships and turned over all regulation of gas well drilling to the Ohio EPA. House Bill 278 effectively stripped local authorities of any power over drilling by overruling local zoning laws. The Ohio EPA had neither the manpower nor the knowledge to take on this task and the result has been catastrophic. Wells are now drilled in residential areas as close as 100 feet to homes and water supplies. In Bainbridge a home was blown off its foundation in December of 2007 when gas escaped from a nearby drilling operation. The drilling industry continues to exert political influence in Columbus to the avoid stricter rules on drilling. The only long term answer is to return control over drilling to the local cities and townships who know what is best for their communities! We must insist that Columbus back off and give local authorities the power to protect their citizens!
In January of 2007 the legislature passed House Bill 231. The bill stripped authority from the local Health Departments and gave Columbus bureaucrats the sole power to regulate our septic systems. Predictably the new rules were unnecessary and expensive to implement. A typical homeowner could be forced to pay as much as $30,000.00 to comply with the new rules. A moratorium on enforcing the new requirements was put in place and has now been extended through 2011. I will be strong voice in Columbus to make certain that we return regulation of septic systems to our local health departments. Homeowners cannot afford the thousands of dollars it might cost to comply with these new sptic regulations and they must never be allowed to take effect!
The simple fact is that in most cases local authorities better understand local problems and are in a better position to deal with them. Residents of Geauga and Portage County should not be at the mercy of unelected ureaucrats in Columbus when it comes to regulating activities literally in our own back yards! If elected, I will be guided by my experience as a Township Trustee and my small government philosophy to protect Geauga and Portage County from abuses by Columbus.
The recession has hit Ohio hard, and nowhere is this more clear than in the state budget, but we should not ask our fire fighters and Police to bear the burden alone. Unlike Washington which seems addicted to deficits and red Ink,Ohio is required by law to balance its budget. This means major cuts must be made. Short term accounting gimmicks, casino revenues, and federal bailout dollars are not the answer. Difficult decisions must be faced. Drastic action, particularly in terms of changing the structure of the state government, is necessary. The state has not undergone a top-to-bottom analysis of its operations in over a half century, and we cannot afford to continue “business as usual” any longer. Bold leadership grounded firmly in conservative values is required to help lead our state out of the impending budget crisis.
Right To Life
I have always been and will always be a staunch supporter of the right to life. My family has long supported local organizations which offer support to women in crisis. Many years ago while still in law school it was not uncommon for my wife to open our home as an emergency shelter to pregnant teens. From the womb to the tomb the right to life is precious and guaranteed by our Constitution. While the United States Supreme Court has limited the authority of Ohio and other states to protect the unborn, I remain committed to a Constitutional Amendment to explicitly guarantee the right of the unborn to life.
There are two Bills working their way through the legislature which could dramatically reduce abortions in Ohio. Either of these “Heartbeat” Bills would give Ohio among the strictest abortion laws in the United States and save thousands of lives of the unborn. Sadly, these bills have become bogged down in the legislature. If elected, I am committed to carrying the moral and political fight forward to protect these most innocent of lives!
A Better Future
Ohio is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. Our state has a diverse and energetic workforce, terrific higher learning institutions, and great natural beauty. However, these strengths are not enough to stem the flow of jobs from Ohio. I have been blessed to raise my family here and I also want my seven grandchildren to have a future here. . . but that future depends on jobs! As a trustee in Geauga County’s largest township, I have a record of cutting spending and pushing for lower taxes and I will do the same in Columbus.
God, Country & the Republican Party
I am a Christian based upon my belief in the Bible. I am a Conservative based upon my belief in the Constitution, and I am a member of the Republican Party based upon my belief that it is the best vehicle to implement these principles. Like many other citizens I have been frustrated by politicians that “play politics”. My time as township trustee has shown me the importance of holding on to strong principles while serving the public. Too often elected officials forget their promises when faced with difficult choices. I am firmly determined to be guided by my conservative values when making decisions in public office.
If we want a conservative government we must elect candidates that are truly dedicated to the Ohio & US Constitution and will implement “limited government” policies. The best vehicle for electing good conservatives is the Republican Party. Despite all its flaws and disappointments, the Republican Party is our best chance to elect officials who will turn away from the policies of the left and fight for Constitutional principles.
Paid for by Lynch for Ohio Committee, Laura Lynch, Treasurer, 17392 Sugar Hill Trail, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023
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