On Wednesday, State Representative Denise Driehaus (D-Clifton) attempted to create a Tax Expenditure Review Board, which would make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor about the value of awarding tax credits to entities that receive money from the legislature. Rep. Driehaus introduced an amendment to Substitute House Bill 107 that mirrors legislation (HB 81) she introduced at the beginning of the current General Assembly.
“This is a good government initiative,” said Rep. Driehaus. “Recent reports have shown that tax-payer dollars are sometimes wasted and misused by the entities who receive them. Our state needs smart, strategic investments to weed out government spending that no longer makes sense.”
The Ohio Department of Taxation estimated that in fiscal year 2012 alone, 129 exemptions and credits amounted to more than $7 billion in foregone money to the state’s General Revenue Fund. Many tax expenditures have continued for decades without review, some of them draining the state revenues and providing financial incentives without an accounting for whether or not they serve their original purpose.
The board would consist of seven bipartisan members and would annually examine tax exemptions, credits and deductions. They would then make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor, making sure that expenditures are serving their intended purpose.
Rep. Driehaus’ amendment was tabled by Vice Chair McClain in the House Finance and Appropriations Committee with a vote of 19-10.
State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today called for the resignation of State Superintendent Richard Ross after leaked minutes of secret meetings showed the superintendent deliberately kept secret the plan to takeover the Youngstown City Schools. Ross’ intentions were first reported Tuesday by the Youngstown Vindicator.
State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge) today announced a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state.
“Ohio is the birthplace of legendary musicians, unforgettable songs and ‘Rock N’ Roll’,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds honors our proud legacy and works to cultivate a winning model moving forward. Ohio can become a destination for musicians, producers and industry leaders who will create jobs and strengthen our local economies. The OhioSounds tax credit will solidify our commitment to Ohio’s musical heritage and create new music that will provide the soundtrack to our lives.”
“Much like the Ohio film tax credit, this legislation seeks to incentivize investment in Ohio and create jobs in a dynamic industry,” Representative LaTourette stated. “Northeast Ohio has seen quite an investment in response to the film tax credit, with major motion pictures filmed on the streets of Cleveland and throughout our region. Given our history as the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, it just makes sense to extend that incentive to the music industry and embrace our heritage as musical innovators.”