Defeated Ohio House Bill 400 Raising Concern

by Brittany Shannon on June 29, 2010 at 5:54 am

Zanesville Mayor Butch Zwelling held a press conference Tuesday to discuss how, if brought back to the table, Ohio House Bill 400 would negatively affect local governments.

Although the bill was defeated a month ago, fears that it could be brought back into the house have local officials concerned. Mayor Zwelling says that Republican gubernatorial candidate, John Kasich is in support of doing away with state income taxes which, in turn, would take away much-needed funding for the fire and police departments in Zanesville, and around the state.

"That would devastate our police department and our fire department and some of my colleagues are laying off policemen and firemen and we do not want to do that and we see this as a vehicle that would cause us to have to do that," says Mayor Zwelling.

The city is already struggling financially, that’s why this funding is vital. Mayor Zwelling says that replacement funds would be needed if this bill were to be passed.

"Everybody likes the idea of no state income tax because it sounds great that, oh my, we won’t have to pay state income tax anymore but how is that going to treat local governments who count on local government funding from the state," says Mayor Zwelling.

According to Kasich’s press secretary, Rob Nichols, the Republican candidate has never supported Ohio House Bill 400. Kasich believes that by lowering taxes, it will warrant job and economic growth. Nichols says quote "Ted Strickland and Mayor Zwelling believe in higher taxes, which is why 2,741 jobs and 229 businesses have been lost in Muskingum County under Strickland’s watch."