Base Budget On Realism

Ohio state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, expressed a variety of concerns about the state’s two-year budget during a town hall meeting Monday in Bellaire. He worries about cuts in state aid to schools and local governments and severance taxes, among other things.

But Cera’s chief concern is that the budget, already passed by his chamber of the General Assembly, is truly balanced.

In adopting a budget, legislators must rely on the executive branch of government to provide reliable revenue estimates. If they are too optimistic, the state will not be able to cover spending approved in the budget document.

And on two big line items — personal income and sales taxes — revenue estimates for the current year have been flawed.

State senators are considering the House budget bill now. In all likelihood, additional House action will be needed. As ranking member of the Finance Committee, Cera will play a big role in that.

If he — or other lawmakers with reasonable concerns — have any doubt about the accuracy of revenue estimates, they should reduce the budget accordingly. Basing it on an unrealistic foundation would be a mistake.

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