Fact Check: Gubernatorial Candidates' Debate Claims

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On Tuesday, viewers statewide watched the first gubernatorial debate between Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and his Republican challenger John Kasich.

Viewers might have come away with more questions than answers, reported 10TV's Maureen Kocot, who sorted through both campaigns' claims.

Strickland and Kasich took taxes on a political roller coaster ride during their one-hour debate that was seen on 10TV.

VIDEO:  Watch The Debate  | Defining Moments  | SPECIAL SECTIONS:  Campaign 2010 | ONN Politics

"We have not raised taxes, we have lowered taxes," Strickland said during the debate.  "I don't know where my opponent comes off saying we've raised taxes.  The income tax in Ohio has been cut 17 percent."

That claim is open to interpretation, Kocot reported.

In 2009, Strickland postponed a planned income tax cut to plug an $850 million hole in the state budget.  The delay cost the average Ohio family an extra $37 to $67, Kocot reported.

Matt Yuskewich, spokesman for the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, said that if you call that a tax increase, it may be semantics.

"In any event, the taxpayers across the state of Ohio paid more income tax in 2009 in return than they would have had the cuts taken their course," Yuskewich said.

Strickland said that Ohio's economy is on the fast track to a rebound, but Kasich maintained that the state has an unfriendly business environment.

"We are the sixth-fastest growing economy in America," Strickland said. "We're proud of that."

That statement is true, according to a recent study by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, but Kasich's claims that companies do not want to do business in Ohio is also true.

According to Chief Executive Magazine, Ohio is ranked as one of the worst states to do business, coming in at No. 44, Kocot reported.

"If (Ohio State football coach) Jim Tressel was rated 44th he wouldn't have a job," Kasich said.

The former Wall Street businessman's claim that he spoke with some voters facing hard financial times at a New Albany Bob Evans restaurant is also true.

Kasich said that he spoke with a couple who were discussing their family budget and CNN caught the conversation on tape, Kocot reported.

Watch 10TV News HD and refresh 10TV.com for continuing Campaign 2010 coverage.

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