COLUMBUS—Building on the legacy and mission of tax reform, the Ohio Senate passed a landmark $1.6 billion in personal income tax cuts. The reduction reflects the highest biennial personal income tax cut in state history.
“This budget provides a 100% income tax cut for those earning $25,000 or less,” said Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima). “It’s important for Ohioans to know that we believe it is their money first, and not the government’s money.”
Ohioans making up to $22,150 were already exempt from state income tax, and now this cut will help an additional 125,000 Ohioans keep more of their paycheck.
Senate driven tax reform maintained the continued consolidation of tax brackets. Over the last three operating budgets, the General Assembly reduced the total number of income tax brackets from nine, down to five. That work continued in this budget with the Senate consolidating two more brackets, capping the highest marginal rate at 3.9%.
“This budget has always been about investing in the Ohio citizen," said Senate Finance Chairman, Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls). “Quality education, economic opportunities, preserving our natural resources and job growth remain our top priorities, and these things are reflected throughout this budget.”
The Senate also repealed sales taxes on hiring and recruiting companies that work to fill job openings around the state. "With thousands of positions open, we shouldn’t be penalizing the professionals who work to find qualified candidates for those jobs,” said President Huffman.
These, and other tax policy revisions, save Ohioans more than $2 billion. Watch more about the Senate’s tax philosophy here.
The Ohio Senate and Ohio House agreed to a modernized school funding formula, reflecting a combination of each chamber’s work to fund Ohio’s 611 public school districts.
Included is the Senate’s plan to directly fund community school scholarships and vouchers, removing that responsibility from public school budgets.
“It’s important to reassure parents that we trust them to know what educational opportunities best serve their children,” said President Huffman. "This plan improves school choice opportunities for parents, whether it involves public schools or charter schools.”
Both the House and Senate agreed to a responsible path forward for improved broadband access for regions and communities struggling with limited access to the service.
“This is a key economic investment for our state,” said Senator Dolan. “During the pandemic, we saw families driving miles, desperate to find Wi-Fi, just so their children could complete their homework. We need to make sure that the dollars spent result in reliable service to those who desperately need it. This program makes the most of $250 million.”
The Senate was able to secure key changes to the state’s Step Up to Quality preschool program that had unintentionally created a childcare shortage. Provisions secured by the Senate will make the process more nimble and able to respond to childcare needs around the state.
“We heard from parents and childcare providers who pointed out this serious problem. For example, the number of childcares in Allen county dropped from 60 to 17,” said President Huffman. “In a post pandemic economy, as parents head back to work, it is critical that affordable, reliable childcare is available to families around the state.”
The Senate also recognized the need many communities face across the state in dealing with blighted, abandoned property. The Senate included $150 million for communities to utilize in razing and repurposing those properties.
“It’s important for our small-town neighborhoods to have access to these dollars,” said President Huffman. “These problems often present serious funding challenges for smaller communities, and this will help clean-up properties that represent more than eye-sores, but also pose serious safety risks for our children.”
Additionally, the Senate secured $350 million to identify and address clean-up for abandoned industrial properties, known as “brownfields” across the state.
The budget also expands care for our veterans who are living with PTSD. Read more about the program here.
Veteran organizations and other fraternal groups will be able to offer charitable gaming at their locations. This will be overseen by both the Attorney General’s office and the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
“Veterans served their country and veteran organizations continue serving their communities through charitable donations,” said President Huffman. "I’m pleased this finally resolves eight years of debate and uncertaintly.”