Lawmakers in the Ohio House of Representatives have unveiled a substitute bill for House Bill 64 – the state budget. This plan greatly improves upon the original HB 64 by removing many of the base narrowing tax hikes, and instead focusing on broad-based pro-growth tax reform.
The HB 64 substitute bill would lower state income tax rates by $1.2 billion over the next two years – providing a 6.3% across-the-board cut to taxes for income taxable in the year 2015. It would also make permanent the 75-percent small business deduction while lowering the top income tax rate to just below 5-percent.
The previous version of HB 64 provided net tax relief of only $500 million over two years and saw significant, job-killing tax hikes on oil and gas, small businesses (via the Commercial Activities Tax), and an increase in the state sales tax from 5-percent to 5.5-percent. It also contained an increase in the state cigarette tax – often a declining source of revenue – and an increase in the tax on products many people use for smoking cessation – namely e-cigarettes and vapor products.
The House substitute bill is a serious improvement upon the original tax plan contained in the state budget and addresses many of the reservations that Americans for Tax Reform previously held.
Americans for Tax Reform would urge all members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio State Senate to support this House substitute version of HB 64.