SOUTH ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The 2017 Legislative Breakfast was held for Zanesville-Muskingum Chamber of Commerce businesses to hear about updates in Ohio’s government.
Senator Troy Balderson discussed updates in the senate, but he really focused on one specific topic. Balderson is pushing local businesses to connect with their county’s schools. Balderson said there is a gap in what instructors are teaching and what the work force needs and the only way to close that gap is by having the businesses reach out and discuss what they need.
“As business owners and as employees of business owners, you should go talk to the educators,” Balderson said. “Communicate with them, if you don’t have time to leave the building, talk on the telephone. An educator will go out and do what they think needs to be done, but they need some guidance and they need suggestions of what this workforce needs.”
“Putting more emphasis on these kids in junior high school, now instead of waiting until high school before hand,” Balderson said. “I think that is important that we get these kids in seventh and eighth grade and start, you know if nothing else teach them a trade that’s what they’ll need, they’ll make money, and they’ll survive, raise a family, and it’s all good.”
Balderson encouraged the businesses to start bringing in students for internships and work studies, so the students can further understand why they are learning certain aspects of the field.
Balderson actually did what he suggested and had previously brought six students from the welding program at Mid-East Career and Technology Centers and showed the students how the work force could be.
“Two and a half hours later, it was one of the best things that [the students]had ever done. It was good for producer services, it was good for Mid-East Career and Technology Centers, and it was phenomenal for the students. They had a better understanding of what they’re spending those hours learning.”
State Representative Brian Hill also spoke on updates, especially when it comes to Governor Kasich’s proposal to decrease the income tax and increase sales tax on merchandise such as cigarettes, cable TV, beer, and wine.
According to Hill, Kasich’s proposal would collapse brackets from nine to five and reduce rates over two years. This would equal about $3 billion income tax cut.
“In doing that expenses haven’t really changed for the state of Ohio, if anything they’ve increased,” Hill said. “So if anything there needs to be a revenue increase for something. The governor’s proposal is to increase sales tax and expand the sales tax to other services that aren’t paying a sales tax.”
Hill says going from an income tax revenue to a user based system will hurt residents in the 97th district for the limited amount of income most households make. Hill explained that if the sales tax becomes to high, the residents will travel to bordering states to buy from less expensive venues.
“That’s still in the talking stages whether that increase happens my guess is that sales tax increase will not happen or at least that would be my recommendation that, that not happen,” Hill said. “Again we’re still six or eight weeks away from us passing a budget on the senate and I think it will be very hard for us to see a tax increase in the sale tax side.”