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Budget fix is winning move

Ohio lawmakers put their political differences aside and found some middle ground on a state budget fix that should be considered a win-win.

It is a victory for the future of the state because it doesn’t fill the $851 million budget gap by robbing education funding. It is also a win for the state because it includes at least a pilot program of a much-needed overhaul of the construction contracting system on state jobs.

The only ones who won’t win — at least in the short term — are the Ohio taxpayers. But the losses aren’t nearly as bad as opponents would have you believe and should be looked at as investing in the state’s future prosperity during difficult times.

The money to fill the budget deficit comes from a compromise that will delay the final round of income tax cuts that were set in motion in 2005 by Bob Taft.

Although it is a difficult decision to not cut taxes for many Ohioans as was originally planned, the ramifications of not doing this and stripping this money from public education funding would have been far worse.

Most importantly, delaying these tax cuts will not have a profound impact on the majority of Ohioans.

According to the Associated Press, “the lowest 20 percent of earners, making $18,000 or less, will have to pay only $2 more for 2009 than they would have had they received the 4.2 percent reduction in the tax rate, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The top 1 percent, earning $319,000 or more, will pay $1,980 more. And those in the middle 40 percent, earning from $32,000 to $76,000 a year, will pay an additional $37 to $69.”

Ohio’s leaders got it right and found a way to work together when we needed it most.

This wasn’t the perfect solution but it is a solid start to Ohio’s future.