This past Tuesday, Governor John Kasich and Tax Commissioner Joe Testa spoke at the 23rd Annual Ohio Tax Conference, an annual event sponsored by the Ohio Chamber and the Manufacturer’s Education Council focused on state and local taxes with an emphasis on Ohio-related issues. The conference had nearly 700 attendees and featured speakers and breakout sessions on recent tax decisions, audit findings, administrative regulations, and legislation—this is the place to take the pulse of tax happenings in Ohio. The Chamber was pleased to host Governor Kasich and Commissioner Testa so they could share what may be happening in future Ohio tax reforms.
Governor Kasich, while he addressed issues beyond taxes, stressed that Ohio has to reduce its top personal income tax rate below 5% (currently at 5.33%) in order to attract investment capital for businesses, would-be entrepreneurs, and skilled worked for Ohio-based companies. Kasich is likely to propose another personal income tax cut before the State of the State on February 24th, the details of which are still in the works. This cut would be in addition to the $2.7 billion income tax for individuals and small business owners he has already gotten through the Ohio legislature. While he didn’t give any hints what the administration might propose as revenue enhancements to offset the budgetary impact of the potential tax cuts, the Chamber supports the governor’s goal which reflects the need to reduce marginal income tax rates to promote economic growth and job creation. The State of the State will provide more information about the Governor’s tax plan and we hope it will further emphasize improving the competitiveness of Ohio.