April 12, 2011- Just when you thought the political pandering to corporate greed could not get any worse, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has taken it to a new low.
Hidden deep in his proposed budget is a provision to allow his administration to contract out for 75 years any state service to any applicant that the state budget and management director (OBM)—a Kasich appointee—alone deems “qualified.” The winning contractors would pay no business tax on gross receipts or on any income from providing public services. Not to mention the thousands of jobs that could be lost.
The provisions are tucked away between pages 261 and 266 in Kasich’s proposed budget and do not require that the winning bidder be current on taxes, operate a safe workplace, pay a legal wage, or even be an Ohio company that employs Ohioans. Nor is there anything to stop Kasich’s cronies from awarding contracts to major Kasich campaign contributors. And nobody, not even the state’s Controlling Board, which oversees state contracts, would be able to review the deal.
Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today presented Kasich with its “Taxpayer Rip-Off of the Week” Award for those “secret six” pages of the budget.
Innovation Ohio Communications Director Dale Butland says:
With these “secret six” pages, the governor’s proposed budget takes “taxpayer rip-off” to a whole new level. They transform the OBM director into an unaccountable modern day czar…
So let’s review. A generous Kasich campaign donor behind on his taxes, who operates a call center in Bangladesh paying workers $4 per day, would pay no business taxes on income from a state contract providing job re-training advice to unemployed Ohioans over the phone.