COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohioans would receive a 2% income tax cut and the state would fund schools more fairly under the latest version of the state budget introduced by the House Republicans on Tuesday.
The 2% cut would add up to $ 380 million in reduced taxes over a two-year period beginning July 1, on top of $ 120 million in reduced taxes brought about by recently passed laws that Bring Ohio tax laws in line with federal law, according to a majority of GOP lawmakers.
The budget also includes previously announced $ 155 million in grants to help industries negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a well-designed, structurally balanced, and comprehensive budget plan that will fund Ohio’s priorities and invest in Ohio’s future,” said Scott Oelslager, chairman of home finance, a Republican for the canton.
House and Senate legislators must approve the $ 75 billion two-year spending plan in time for GOP Governor Mike DeWine to put it into law on July 1.
The school funding proposal incorporates current bipartisan legislation to change the way Ohio funds education. The House approved a version of the plan last year, but the Senate did not vote on it until the end of the session.
The nearly $ 2 billion proposal would remove funding caps and guarantees and take into account a community’s ability to help fund their schools, taking into account not just property values but local income levels as well. It would also channel funding for public charter schools directly from the state rather than through local counties. The changes would take place over the next six years and no school district will lose funding during the phase-in under the proposal.
Supporters said the plan would solve many problems with the intricate funding patchwork that has been in place since the Ohio Formula was found unconstitutional in 1997.
Legislators currently have more flexibility with the biennial budget proposal as state tax revenues continue to rise above the initially conservative estimates made taking into account the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
According to preliminary figures from the Office of Budget and Management, tax revenue last month was $ 1.63 billion, up from $ 41.4 million, or 2.6% more than analysts’ estimates, according to preliminary figures from the Office of Budget and Management the Gongwer News Service.
To date, tax revenue exceeds estimates by $ 763.4 million, or 4.3%.
Democrats welcomed the school funding plan and other measures, but criticized the general tax cut, which they said would largely benefit the rich.
“Instead, we should work together to invest in childcare, housing and other areas to help workers and families and get Ohio back on track,” said Erica Crawley, Rep. Of Columbus, senior Democrat of the House Finance Committee.