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DeWine Outlines Economic Plan

Jim Provance | Toledo Blade | August 13, 2018

COLUMBUS— Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine on Monday rolled out a menu of job-training reforms, tax breaks, and incentives for researchers as he promised to take the state to “the next level” of economic prosperity.

“The Ohio Prosperity Plan will unite innovation, research, and, very importantly, investment,” he said. “We’ll train more people with the skills they need to help fill jobs. We will eliminate burdensome regulations. We’ll keep taxes low and allow businesses to truly flourish.”

In some ways, the two major-party candidates have focused on similar themes as they’ve proposed ways to better prepare Ohioans for the demands of tomorrow’s jobs, also a focus in recent years of the man they seek to replace, Republican Gov. John Kasich.

Both focused on job training for in-demand industries, better coordination among the numerous state and local job-training programs, and expansion of access to high-speed broadband Internet.

Mr. DeWine’s plan, however, goes a step further, calling for giving the governor the power to suspend implementation of government regulations seen as adversely affecting job creation. He wants to expand the role of the Common Sense Initiative created by Mr. Kasich and led by his former primary election opponent, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, to give citizens greater input in challenging such regulations.

Mr. DeWine wants to partner with local businesses, educators, and community leaders to establish regional job-training programs. He called for funding 10,000 skills certificates for in-demand jobs and promotion of reciprocal agreements with other states to recognize one another’s certificates and licenses.

Taking a page from the recent federal tax law, he wants to create Opportunity Zones at the state level in which the private sector could receive tax breaks in exchange for bringing jobs to economically distressed communities. An investor’s entire tax bill on capital gains would be forgiven for the first seven years. After that, 85 percent of those original gains would be taxed. After 10 years, any additional gains tax would not be taxed.

“It’s not a handout or government subsidy for economically distressed communities, which is commonly the approach. It simply encourages private investment, by rewarding those investors who take the risk,” said Secretary of State Jon Husted, Mr. DeWine’s running mate.

Read the full article from the Toledo Blade here.