LIMA — She may have spent the last two terms as part of the state’s executive branch, but for Ohio gubernatorial candidate Mary Taylor, a vote for her is not a vote for the status quo.
Making a stop at The Lima News between a visit to Joint Systems Manufacturing Center and an appearance with the Putnam County Republican Party, Taylor, who is running in the Republican primare election against Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, addressed how she would approach the job of governing the state, including reforming the state’s tax code, as well as her experiences in what has already become a hotly contested race, despite the fact that the general election is more than a year away.
“It’s surprising to me,” she said. “People are more interested and in tune with the governor’s race next year, and maybe all statewide races, than I expected them to be at this time. Usually, after Labor Day, you start focusing on what’s on your November ballot, but everything’s just moved up.”
One of the first proposals brought forth by the 51-year-old Taylor is a simplification of the state’s tax system, including reducing the income tax form to the size of a postcard and changing the tax withholding tables, which currently require employers to withhold more than 20 percent more taxes from employee wages than what that employer will owe the state, she said.
“For all intents and purposes, individuals are giving an interest-free loan to the state government without even knowing it,” she said.
As the head of Gov. John Kasich’s Common Sense Initiative, which aims to address regulations that are seen to be a hindrance to economic development or that are difficult with which to comply, Taylor sees herself as someone willing to challenge the status quo, challenging rules that do not make sense.
“We want regulations that make sense to protect the health and safety of Ohio workers or the environment, but not regulations that are too burdensome to comply with,” she said. “We will move that through every part of state government.”
Concerning local government funding, an issue that county and municipal governments have wrestled with, Taylor said that it is time to meet with local government representatives to see how these shortfalls can be addressed.
“I want to have an honest conversation on what the proper role of government is on every level and how you fund it,” she said. “I would love to see a list of unfunded mandates to see what things we can get rid of. What does that list look like and how do we systematically, from a state perspective, whether it’s rule or regulation changes or working with the legislature, work to lessen that burden?”