In Ohio, Spotlight Is Focused On Tax Policy
By Rep. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville)
March 18, 2013
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These are busy times at the Statehouse and certainly in many of your homes as well. With Tax Day fast approaching—now less than a month away—let this be a helpful reminder to anyone who likes to procrastinate.

Unlike last year, when the deadline to file taxes was extended a couple of days because of the weekend and a holiday, this year everything returns to its normal schedule—due on April 15th.

Taxes have been a major priority at the Statehouse as well. Governor Kasich’s budget proposal features a lot of changes to Ohio’s tax structure. His proposals are currently being worked out in the House Finance and Appropriations Committee and later this spring will be passed and sent to the Senate for even further consideration.

As a member of the House subcommittee on Ways and Means, I work closely with many of the tax issues currently being discussed. We look at the ways in which certain tax policies will impact Ohio residents over the long run. As is true with many issues, the true consequences of a certain policy may not be felt until many years in the future, so it is important that we give all issues substantial attention in order to do what is best for Ohio.

I have received a lot of feedback from constituents—some in support of the governor’s proposals and others who have significant concerns. I appreciate all kinds of feedback and encourage anyone with an idea or concern to contact my office. This is true for tax policy, as well as all state-related matters.

One specific proposal we are looking at deals with how the state handles municipal income taxes. Today, there are more than 600 municipalities (cities, townships, etc.) that collect a form of municipal income tax. This carries with it about 600 different sets of rules and guidelines that businesses must follow in order to be in compliance.

That places a great amount of strain on businesses, as well as steep costs. A bill moving through the House, House Bill 5, aims to make many of the municipal income tax rules uniform so that especially small businesses will not have to invest so much of their resources into simply complying with tax statutes. That is money that would be better used hiring workers, expanding operations or investing in equipment.

Under the bill, municipalities would still be allowed to collect the taxes and set their own rates. Local control is imperative, but consistency will help tax payers better comply with the law

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