House Approves 6.3% Income Tax Cut
After weeks of studying the sweeping proposals from Gov. John Kasich in his executive budget for FY16-17, House Republicans unveiled their version Tuesday that largely strips out the proposed sales tax expansion to consultants and others as well as the severance, tobacco and CAT taxes and dedicates more money to school districts so that fewer will lose funds in the next biennium.
The House proposal will give a 6.3 percent across-the-board income tax cut beginning in Tax Year 2015 worth $1.2 billion over the biennium, which will lower the top tax rate to 4.997 percent. The substitute bill will also make the 75 percent small business tax deduction that was adopted by the 130th General Assembly permanent.
On March 24 the Ohio House of Representatives Judiciary Committee unanimously approved HB 71 which would prohibit certain indemnity agreements in motor vehicle carrier transportation contracts.
Written proponent testimony was provided by Jeff Smith, director of government affairs and general counsel for the Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio. He made the following statement:
The Ohio House of Representatives Commerce and Labor Committee took testimony March 24 on HB 77 which woud require statewide registration of home improvement contractors and modify the membership of the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board.
Members took opponent testimony from Executive Director Shari Bates of the Central Ohio Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and Mike Hoffmaster, president of the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Cincinnati and president of Greatway Homes, who said he was not actually speaking on behalf of HBA.
Both said the bill will not stop unscrupulous contractors and protect homeowners and will only increase regulatory burdens and costs on reputable contractors.
A conference committee cleared the transportation budget on March 24 with changes including stripping out language that would have raised the speed limit to 75 miles per hour on certain rural highways.
The Conference Committee on HB53 (Grossman) ironed out more than 50 differences between the House-passed version and the Senate passed version, including reverting back to the 70 miles per hour speed limit, removing the restriction on driving in the left-hand lane on three-lane highways but retaining the requirement that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODO)T post signs saying "Keep Right Except to Pass."