Adams Takes Steps to Terminate State Income Tax
House Bill 400: A Long-Term Solution for Ohio’s Future
Columbus—House Republican Whip John Adams (R-Sidney) today offered sponsor testimony on House Bill 400, a legislative measure that will phase out the state income tax over a ten-year period. According to the ALEC-Laffer 2009 State Economic Competitiveness Index, Ohio’s income taxes are among the 10 highest in the country and have rendered Ohio the second worst overall economy.
“As a small business owner, I can speak to the effects of Ohio’s poor economic climate and how high taxes hinder investment and growth,” Adams said. “The financial train wreck that is on our heels is avoidable, but Ohio’s Democrats continue to tax jobs right out of our state.”
Nine states currently do not levy an income tax, five of which rank among the top ten economies and four of which are among the top ten for population influx. Conversely, California and New York have the highest income taxes and experienced the most serious revenue deficits in 2009, as tax receipts failed to outweigh the loss of businesses. Ohio is not far behind these high-tax states with the eighth highest income tax in the nation.
“It is my hope that by eliminating job-killing taxes, Ohio will attract new businesses to our state,” Adams said. “We need to convey to the rest of the nation that our doors are open to business growth and investment.”
According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, a national organization that educates taxpayers about sound tax policy, Ohio’s burdensome taxes and poor business climate have driven people out of the state for years, which has shrunk the economy and the tax base. At the same time, state government spending has continued to increase, resulting in an oppressive tax burden on the state’s remaining citizens.
“Businesses and families back home are making sacrifices and cutting spending, and leaders in Columbus should not only follow suit but lead by example,” Adams said. “The case has been made, and it is long overdue that the Ohio Legislature finally commits to improving the tax code and aligns it with competitive states.”
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It wasn't just Democrats that raised taxes, Republicans in Columbus have gone along with that effort for a number of years. But Adams is correct that high taxes are ruining all of us - businesses and individuals - and driving both out of the state.
As for a phase-out, well....
We've seen that when the state gets into financial difficulty, those 'phase-out' plans are on the chopping block. Republicans joined with Democrats to retroactively 'delay' the planned phased-in tax cuts - all because that was easier than actually cutting the budget. And Republicans, who presented a reorganization plan to reduce the size of state government early last year, were strangely silent about the plan by November and December when they had the political upper hand in negotiations over addressing the state's huge budget deficit.
If we're going to eliminate the state income tax, then do so. Phased-in tax cut promises aren't worth the paper they're written on. If Columbus politicians really want to 'jump-start the economy' and 'help small business,' why 'phase in' anything? Just do it.