COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives today unanimously approved House Bill 197, legislation that authorizes an income tax credit for an employer’s expenses to train a commercial vehicle operator to address Ohio’s truck driver shortage.
“The nation is not only facing supply chain issues, but is also adjusting to new federal requirements for individuals seeking a CDL that could increase training costs and provide additional barriers for individuals seeking to obtain a CDL,” said joint sponsor, State Rep. Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria), during his floor speech.
Under the bill, companies who invest in training their drivers will be offered a nonrefundable tax credit equal to one-half of the employer’s actual training expenses, and capped at $25,000 per company.
State Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Twp.), joint sponsor of the bill, noted during his speech his personal experience with the lack of CDL drivers in Ohio.
“As a small business owner, I know first-hand the hardest position to fill in my company has always been a CDL truck driver because they are in such great demand,” said Stoltzfus “In my experience, when a company trains an employee to get their CDL, it is an opportunity for that employee to better themselves by adding to their income, raise their wages, because of the value they bring to the company.”
The bill is supported by the Ohio Trucking Association, the Ohio Beverage Association and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and was unanimously supported by the House Ways and Means Committee.
“H.B. 197 invests in Ohio’s workforce and will keep our roads safe. We need these skilled drivers to keep our shelves stocked and our economy moving forward,” added Creech.
H.B. 197 now heads to the Senate for consideration.