Pending in the Ohio Senate is a Joint Resolution – SJR 3 – that would send a constitutional amendment to voters that, if passed by the voters, would require a super majority vote before an increase in state personal income tax could take place. Currently, the General Assembly could pass a state personal income tax rate increase by a vote of 17 Senators and 50 House members. SJR 3 would raise that required number to 22 Senators and 66 House members.
At first blush, it looks like a good idea. Who doesn’t want to keep their taxes as low as possible? But, on further reflection, this resolution could shift any need for new sources of state revenue from the income tax to other tax sources, including a bevy of business taxes. The Ohio Chamber wanted to raise this point with the Senate Ways and Means Committee before it ended its deliberation on SJR 3. Today, the Ohio Chamber testified as an interested party during the fourth hearing on SJR 3 to reiterate the point that SJR 3 may have unintended consequences. The Ohio Chamber will continue to follow SJR 3 as it moves through the process.