Proposed tax cuts to help local businesses

Dems say lower income families to suffer; governor likely to sign bill by June 30


COLUMBUS — A family-owned Findlay trucking company that does $24 million a year in business said Monday that proposed tax cuts in the next state budget, especially a 50 percent break on small business income, will help it reinvest in its business and its 160 employees.

“I take offense to those critics of business owners that assume the proposed tax reform will only benefit rich business owners and Ohio’s GOP is rewarding their party’s wealthy constituents while imposing new burdens on the middle class,” said Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president of the Garner Transportation Group that her parents started 53 years ago.

“These small businesses provide local jobs with wages and benefits that support the majority of our families in Ohio,” she said.

Democrats, however, suggested the proposed tax package, which results in a net $2.6 billion income-tax cut over three years, shifts the burden to lower income families.

They pointed to senior citizens who may not pay income taxes but would see a 0.25 percent hike in the state sales tax and possibly a property tax hike as the state starts to reduce its subsidization of local millage.

“It looks like an individual’s idea of fairness is a little bit different,” said Sen. Mike Skindell (D., Lakewood). “For the low-income individual and the tens of thousands of seniors who will only see a tax increase under this plan, this plan is not fair. Those folks are an important part of our economy also, and the governor has forgotten those folks.”

A House-Senate conference committee is expected to insert the tax plan into a proposed $61.7 billion, two-year budget on Tuesday with a final Senate vote set for Wednesday and a House vote on Thursday. Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign it into law by June 30.

The plan proposes to cut individual income taxes across all brackets for all taxpayers by 8.5 percent this year with the size of the cut climbing to 10 percent by the third year.

In addition, small businesses that pay the tax would see their income tax rates halved on the first $250,000 in income.

The state would pay part of the bill by raising the state share of the sales tax from 5.5 cents on the dollar to 5.75 cents a dollar.

Counting its local add-on, Lucas County’s rate would climb to 7 cents.

The state also would pull more business income under the umbrella of the commercial activity tax. It would reduce the threshold that triggers payment of the 0.26 percent tax on business gross receipts from $1 million to $500,000.

The plan also proposes for the state to reduce its role in subsidizing local property tax bills.

It would require senior citizen homeowners newly entering the homestead exemption program to earn $30,000 or less a year and would limit the state’s 12.5 percent share of the local property tax burden only to existing levies.

Contact Jim Provance at: or 614-221-0496.