Gutting education for a cup of cheap coffee

It has been repeated often by the Governor and Republican legislators that raising income taxes is not a solution to the budget problem Ohio faces, but instead, draconian cuts to education are the way forward. Consequently we face almost $3.1 billion in education cuts over the next 2 years as a result of this policy preference.

But how much of an impact do the 2005 income tax cuts have on take home pay? We thought it would be interesting to look at this question from a teachers perspective.

According to Ohio's Legislative Services Commision (LSC), the average teacher earned $54,656 in 2009, and about $47,500 in 2004, the year before the income tax cuts were phased in.

Ohio average teacher salaries

The Ohio Department of taxation has produced this handy guide to tax rates for each year since 2004. Let's see how much tax a teacher making average salaries in 2004 and 2009 would have paid to the state.

Comparing tax bills for average salaried teachers

Average Teacher in 2004 Average Teacher in 2009
Average Salary $47,500 $54,656
Tax Forumla $1,337.20 + 5.201% of excess over $40,000 $1,112.50 + 4.327% of excess over $40,000
Taxes Paid $1,727.28 $1,746.67

The difference between 2009 and 2004 being $19.39 per year, a nickel a day MORE today.

Republicans would have us believe that for a nickel a day MORE in tax, we have to gut public education, or Ohio would be too uncompetitive to survive. Draw your own conclusions. Perform your own calculations using your own salary and the tax tables to see your "savings".

For those wondering, or thinking it fairer, what tax would be paid on $54,656 if the tax code had not changed

2004 Tax Rates 2009 Tax Rates
Tax Forumla $1,337.20 + 5.201% of excess over $40,000 $1,112.50 + 4.327% of excess over $40,000
Taxes Paid $2099.46 $1,746.67

Which equates to about a buck a day savings ($352.79 per year). A cup of cheap coffee a day.