At the start of this month, the tax revisions that were included in the state budget went into effect. Taken together, the changes to the income and sales taxes will result in a net $2.7 billion in tax relief for Ohio's families and businesses over the next three years.
One major part about the tax reform is the move away from the income tax, in favor of the sales tax. Several states are in the course of making similar policy changes, and some have done away with the income tax altogether. An income-based tax structure taxes people based on what they make and can even punish people for taking on a second job or being more productive -- something that should be encouraged, not penalized.
A sales tax, on the other hand, is more equitable because it taxes people based on something they have more control over -- how they spend their money. It is important to keep in mind that items such as groceries and medicine are not subject to the sales tax. In fact, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation, only about 35 percent of an average Ohio family's budget is affected by sales taxes.
My main goal since taking office has been to advocate for policies that I believe will help Ohio's economy bounce back and continue its forward momentum. Not so long ago, Ohio was one of the states that were hardest hit by the devastating recession that placed hard times and uncertainty on families all over the country.
Over the past couple of years, Ohio has seen positive signs economically as nearly 165,000 private sector jobs have been created since January 2011. As anyone can attest, Ohio is not out of the woods just yet. Some months produce greater job growth than others, but the trajectory is moving in the right direction.
I think the recent tax changes will help our state become more attractive to job-creators, which is why I supported the policies in the budget bill.
Rep. Landis may be reached by calling 614-466-8035, e-mailing Rep98@ohiohouse.gov or writing to State Representative Al Landis, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.