By Terry Fleming, MIRA Ohio Lobbyist, TC Fleming & Associates
The Ohio General Assembly has passed HB 64, the states two year $74 million budget. While there may still be some clarification on amendments the Legislative Service Commission is working on I believe I have the final info. Overall I believe the MIRA members came out very well on almost all issues.
On taxes the final bill increased cigarette tax to .35 cents a pack so that it wouldn’t be higher than Pennsylvania but it eliminated all tax increases on Other Tobacco Products (OTP) including liquid products. The bill also eliminated the proposed alcohol tax by certain counties for arts purposes. The small business income tax for joint filings gives a 75% break on first $250,000 for this year and 100% starting next year. For single filings it’s on first $125,000. For all income over $250,000 a flat 3% tax will be levied on small businesses. There is also a 6.3% across the board income tax cut. On the severance tax there is language that creates a tax study commission but requires a report on fracking tax by October 1, of this year. The tax credit for Social Security remains for all income levels.
The legislation would permit 3000 new lottery machines to businesses with a liquor permit, which includes private entities like the American Legion. For Cleveland folks the bill would allow bars to stay open till 4:00 a.m. For special events like the Republican National Convention next year.
All in all not a bad result and MIRA was an active partner in all of this. On separate issue MIRA did give testimony on the bill to protect our members from law suit when people put wrong fuel in car.
A special shout out to Ron Milburn for his work with Franklin County Auditor on getting the county to take over all inspections of pumps.