There were many reasons why it made sense to repeal Ohio’s estate tax. In most circumstances, it required people who had been paying taxes to the state their entire lives to contribute once more at the time of their death. Furthermore, the tax had the adverse effect of hindering job creation, discouraging future savings and investments and lower wages.

Entering the previous General Assembly two years ago, it was apparent that eliminating the estate tax was a top priority for Republican legislators to consider. The idea was originally introduced in House Bill 3, which was later amended into the state operating budget. Although I was not yet a part of the legislature at the time that vote was cast, I firmly stand behind the idea and believe it will lead to greater economic growth in Southeast Ohio.

At the time, Ohio was the 29th state not to collect an estate or inheritance tax, and it is an idea that is gaining momentum in other states throughout the country. Additionally, with some states eliminating their income tax, it is critical that Ohio remain competitive in attracting business.

The estate tax repeal is a positive step in making Ohio more business-friendly. It will especially make an impact on small businesses and family farms, which were hurt the most by the tax. I also expect it will encourage a growing number of people to call Ohio home after retirement.

During the coming two years, more efforts will be made to find ways to improve Ohio’s economic outlook, including further tax reform. As the federal government continues to tax and spend at an unsustainable rate, it is now more important than ever that the states do what they can to limit government and encourage investment in the economy.

If Ohio does not continue to find new and better ways to compete for business, our state will lose out to those that do.

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