(Columbus) - The Democrat running for Ohio governor called the state's new budget a "train wreck for the middle class."
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald teed off on a tax cut plan that Republicans have touted as an economic booster.
"You're seeing income tax for the very wealthiest people in the state being paid for by really increasing the tax burden overall on the middle class and the poor," FitzGerald said.
The budget provides a $2.7 billion cut in income taxes for both individuals and small businesses in Ohio. It also raises the sales tax from 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent and removes exemptions for items purchased online like digital music and books.
"We have a tax shift that is being proposed in this state and it's indefensible in my opinion," he said.
FitzGerald also took issue with provisions in the budget dealing with abortion. He says they were slipped in at the last minute without any hearings or public comment.
"These types of divisive restrictions have no place in a budget bill," FitzGerald said.
He was hopeful that Gov. John Kasich would use his line-item veto power to remove those items as well as those dealing with the tax changes.
"If I were governor I would and this governor should," he said.
Instead of a tax cut, FitzGerald said he would have used a surplus in the budget to restore funding to local governments that was cut in the last budget. He says that resulted in higher taxes at the local level for many Ohioans.
FitzGerald also criticized Gov. Kasich's leadership style noting that even members of his own party in the General Assembly have ignored Kasich policies like the severance tax on oil and gas drilling and Medicaid expansion. He says Kasich needs to sit down with members of both parties to find solutions instead of giving them his policies with a "loud voice."
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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Photo by Matt Bruning/Clear Channel.)