Plugged In: Governor Kasich’s Proposal to Raise Cigarette Taxes

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(Photo Credit: WPIX Video Still)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio legislative panel is scheduled to delve into an election-year policy plan from Gov. John Kasich that includes cutting Ohio’s income tax through increases in drilling and tobacco taxes.

(Gov. Kasich giving State of the State address in Medina on 2/24/13)

(Gov. Kasich giving State of the State address in Medina on 2/24/14)

The Republican governor released details of his proposal on Tuesday. Testimony on the measure is set to begin Wednesday afternoon in the GOP-led Ohio House.

The bill’s prospects amid campaign season are uncertain.

Kasich, who faces re-election this fall, proposes cutting income taxes by 8.5 percent over the next three years, taking the top tax rate to 4.88 percent by 2016. Commercial activity, cigarette and drilling taxes would rise to pay for the reduction.

He also proposes streamlining Ohio’s workforce development and poverty programs, tying all public-college funding to graduation rates and expanding vocational and dropout education offerings.

A look at the key proposals in Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s midterm budget bill:


  • Cut Ohio income taxes by 8.5 percent to bring the top rate to 4.66 percent by 2016.
  • Increases earned income tax credit from 5 percent to 15 percent.
  • Raises personal tax exemption from $1,700 to $2,700 for those earning less than $40,000 and from $1.700 to $2,200 for those earning between $40,000 and $80,000.
  • Raise Commercial Activity Tax rate from 0.26 percent to 0.30 percent.
  • Increase cigarette taxes from $1.25 to $1.85 a pack, with similar increases on other tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
  • Raise the severance tax rate on high-volume drillers to 2.75 percent of gross receipts, exempting $8 million per well in start-up costs.
  • Earmark 20 percent of drilling-tax collections to local communities, through a combination of direct payments, competitive transportation grants and a legacy fund controlled by newly created regional commissions appointed by the governor.


  • Extend vocational options to 7th and 8th graders.
  • Establish dropout recovery programs for adults ages 22 and older at eligible community colleges and career centers.
  • Provide $10 million in casino licensing fees for Community Connectors mentorship program.
  • Tie two-year colleges’ state funding to completion rather than enrollment.
  • Base 50 percent of state funding to technical centers on the percentage of students who find jobs.
  • Allow two-year colleges to offer students a guaranteed tuition rate.
  • Create a globalization liaison at the Board of Regents to attract and retain international students.


  • Fast-track state licensing and certification for veterans and their spouses.
  • Grant free college credit to veterans for military training and experience.
  • Allow veterans priority course registration and high-quality academic and career counseling.


  • Establish state Human Services Innovation Office within Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
  • Allocate $26.9 million from the national tobacco settlement to for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts.
  • Direct $6.5 million to new substance abuse prevention initiatives.
  • Streamline three federal workforce training programs to avoid overlap and ease use.

(SOURCE: Ohio Governor’s Office)


  • josh

    How about taxing drug and alachol rehab centers? Coffee? Potato chips? Fast food? Those things make our health insurance go up also!

  • Susan

    Tax the smokers because they’re a health risk? Ok then lets do the same for all those having eggs smothered in butter with a side of bacon or sausage (sometimes both) for breakfast, driving thru McDonalds on they’re lunch break and super sizing that Big Mac meal and then order a loaded pizza for dinner!

  • Trish

    Ridiculous to tax e-cig related products when they are trying to quitHow bout taxing fast food, way more people buy fast food. Obesity is on the rise amd the lazy parents that dont cook balanced dinners like they should.

  • Carol

    Maybe diners at Applebee’s who eat unhealthy food should pay for those who are eating healthier foods also, Start taxing people who are using those things that the taxes paying for.

  • mary

    I’m a smoker and this is just ridicoulous that they want to pass this tax on smokes again. Thats why I go into Lorain county to buy mine they are alot cheaper there.If they legalized pot then that would be the answer to all of their money problems just saying . TY Mary

  • Gregory Soboslay

    Instead of always going after the smokers to raise taxes on.Why don’t he raise the price and taxes on sporting events,sporting clothes/shoes??Riddle me that.Always the smokers.Not totally fair on our part.He would get a lot more back if he taxed the sports fans.

  • C

    Politician’s are only worried about being re-elected and never about the actual constituents that they represent, regardless of what they might try to tell you, including you Mr. Kasich.

  • Jeff Lewis

    how about taxing parents with kids instead of giving them tax breaks.i pay for schoo;s that i dont even use.why not tax the people that use them a little extra?for every kid you send to school you should pay an extra $5k per year.also everytime you use a sports complex why not put an extra $20 tax on them?why beacuse then people would stop going to them

    • me

      5k a year for public school? That’s what some private schools cost. Doubt any public school in the state is worth that. Wouldn’t bother me, I homeschool, but doubt anyone would vote for that.

  • me

    Sounds good to me. Tax them for blowing that nasty second hand smoke all over us. So sick of people assuming because we are outside, they can smoke in my face. Or stand outside the door of a store or restaurant, so that I have to hold my breath and run through the cloud. That dumb comment about smokers funding the stadium but can’t smoke in there…..really, those seats being as close as they are, it doesn’t matter if its outside, the 20 people sitting around you don’t want to share your nasty cigarette.

  • matt

    Its pretty simple…. if you don’t want to pay the tax…THEN QUIT SMOKING!!………you do have a choice on this tax

  • josh

    I don’t smoke and I feel its still unfair. I get a big kick out of all the anti smokers here saying it dosent affect me, suprise it will with that additude. Not keeping all aspects of govt. in check will give them the power to walk all over you! Not to mention wait till govt. Taxes something dear to you, then think about your don’t affect me mentality…

  • Drop

    I love this idea!! I also think we should tax people who super size their fast food a little more. I don’t like the idea, so let’s punish them. Accordingly, let’s tax people who drive up to the corner store a little more- they really should be walking because it’s healthier. Lastly, let’s focus on old people. Let’s tax more if you’re over 60- you’re in the hospital a lot and you’re raising my insurance rates. When it’s all done, let’s round up all the offenders above and gas them like Hitler. We’ll decide what habits qualify for gassing chambers and then we’ll have a perfect society!!!

  • Imjustsaying...

    He wants to tax smokers AGAIN, but then he wants to allocate “$26.9 million from the national tobacco settlement for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts.” What happens when people quit smoking? Who’s he going to tax then??? Why not increase the taxes of those who can afford it — the upper class, athletes, etc. Leave the mid and lower-income people alone … we barely get by now as it is. The rich keep on getting richer and the poor poorer. When will it stop?

  • Sherry

    Quit picking on the smokers. Increase tax on alcohol, then the politicians and rich will have to pay too. They go through enough of it.

  • Kim

    Everybody on here should stop giving these politicians more ideas for taxation. T.P., Fast Food, Alcohol, Medical Services…etc. Come on folks, our cities, states and government collect a lot of taxes everyday from us which adds up to millions upon millions of dollars. We as a whole are taxed repeatedly on the same dollar. I’ve seen report after report for decades as to how our national and local governments wastes tax dollars on buying $100.00 toilet seats and hammers. I’ve seen where political powers have given family members large amounts of cash to do infrastructural jobs that should have cost a lot less to be done. How many times have we seen stories where politicians have been caught using tax payers money for outrageously expensive “Business Trips” and “Meeting.” The government offices have a lot of money at their finger tips. Someone show me the receipts. I want to see where every dollar is spent! I want to see the “actual” need for these taxes. I want to see how many businesses get away with paying taxes for insensitive to come to our cities, states and country. Smoking, Over Eating, Stealing, Welfare Cheats are only a symptom to the problem. We as a whole need to stop blaming each other and look at the people in power to give in depth reasoning for their actions and need for these taxes.

  • kelley lane

    i think what he is going to do is stupid. if or if not you smoke it dosent matter if you make 20 dollars an hour or now he is just going to raise everything and make it harder for every day working men and women to make some kind of a living

    • Judy

      Polititions don’t care they have their over blown incoms set for life, all at the expense of our breaking backs and pockets!!!

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