Ohio Lawmakers Look to Come Together on Tax Reform Amid Divisive Abortion Battle

Ohio House Democrats unveiled a number of proposals Thursday that they claim will “modernize” Ohio’s tax system to “benefit working people, families and small businesses.”

They’re calling the set of proposals the “People First Tax Reform,” which will include a “Working Families First” tax incentive. This incentive would reform Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit by removing caps and making the credit refundable, according to a press release from the minority caucus.

House Democrats claim this incentive could save families up to $212 million each year, and note that similar ideas were included in the biennial transportation budget.

“We saw some pieces of the Working Families tax incentive in the transportation budget, so we know there is a bipartisan appetite for these commonsense reforms,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) said. “We need to work together to get our state on the right track so we can start growing again.”

Another proposal calls for fixing the “state’s LLC loophole,” which Democrats describe as a “tax giveaway to Ohio businesses that, when designed, was supposed to create jobs.” Ohio’s job creation has consistently lagged behind the national average in recent years.

“Years of tax giveaways and loopholes have held our state back from living up to its full promise. In fact, working people are worse off than they were just a few years ago,” Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) said. “These commonsense proposals are fiscally responsible and will go a long way to benefit the bottom line of working families, ultimately creating jobs and growing our economy.”

Other proposals put forward by House Democrats Thursday call for the elimination of the state sales tax on feminine hygiene products, expanding Ohio’s adoption tax credit, and offering more deductions for out-of-pocket college expenses.

The Democrats’ tax plan is part of a larger “Ohio Promise” initiative that they began marketing last month. The agenda seeks to reverse the trend of “years of broken promises” in the state by protecting “health care and Medicaid expansion,” investing in education, public transit, and children’s services, reforming the state’s tax system, and reducing prescription drug prices.

Gov. Mike DeWine prioritized many of these same issues in his first budget proposal, but Republicans in the House and Senate have yet to comment on the tax plan released Thursday.

“Ohio’s promise of better lives, brighter futures and an economy that works for everyone starts with a tax structure that works for everyone—not just those at the top,” Sykes added. “Democrats have a real, commonsense plan to modernize and restore fairness to a tax code that too often benefits millionaires and billionaires at the expense of working people and families.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to anthony.gockowski@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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