Amid 2016 run, Kasich touts accomplishments as Ohio governor

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WCMH) -Ohio Governor John Kasich came off the campaign trail Tuesday to hold his annual year-end review with state legislative leaders.

Kasich said he wants further cuts to the state’s income tax – even in a year that saw certain small-business taxes reduced to zero and across-the-board reductions statewide.

“We have to lead on this because the lower the income tax – the better we do,” Kasich said.

Kasich has advocated eliminating Ohio’s income tax since his first run for governor in 2010. He said that further reductions remain a goal though Ohio’s economic position is strong. He said the budget is balanced, the state’s rainy day fund is strong and wages and job totals are rising.

“We’re structurally balanced,” Kasich said. “Our budget is in excellent shape. There are many states in the country that can’t seem to get it done.”

Kasich joined his lieutenant governor and legislative leaders at a Westerville Chamber of Commerce event.

Kasich said Ohio’s drug problem is “just horrible” and must be addressed and he’d also like to see sweeping reform in how public education is delivered.

He declined to answer a question about presidential politics other than to say that he is not discouraged by recent polls that show him polling at less than 8 percent in New Hampshire and less than 3 percent nationally.

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