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Tax Reform

Ohio Legislature May Be Nearing Agreement On State Budget

Jul 16, 2019
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, left, shakes hands with Ohio House speaker Larry Householder after delivering the Ohio State of the State address at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

Lawmakers who have been negotiating Ohio's next two-year state budget were set to reconvene Tuesday, a day before the extended deadline for the House and Senate to pass the $69 billion spending plan.

Ohio Senate Republicans made sweeping changes to the House version of the state budget, including larger tax cuts and restored tax breaks.

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina)
Ohio Senate

With the deadline to sign a new two-year budget a little over two weeks away, Ohio's state senators are releasing their proposal for that spending plan Tuesday. There are likely to be some changes from the $69 billion proposal that overwhelmingly passed the Ohio House last month.

When President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law in December 2017, he hailed it as a major legislative victory — calling the cuts “rocket fuel” for the U.S. economy and claiming they would pay for themselves.

Ohio House

The two-year, $69 billion state budget proposed by the Ohio House makes some significant changes to the state’s tax cutouts.

Mike DeWine
Jay LaPrete / AP

There are no tax cuts in Gov. Mike DeWine’s first budget. Lawmakers may change that when they introduce their version of it soon. However they probably won’t change the $19.2 billion in tax credits and loopholes in it.

Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Backers of new federal tax changes promised they would make taxes fairer for everyone. However, Statehouse Democrats say that’s not what happened, and they're pushing a tax reform plan of their own.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed 18-cent hike in the gas tax is still before state lawmakers. They would have to approve it as part of the transportation budget, which must be signed into law by March 31.

Medina Republican Larry Obhof
Ohio Senate

State lawmakers are now considering Gov. Mike DeWine’s 18 cent gas tax increase, to plug a hole of more than a billion dollars in the Department of Transportation’s budget. However one legislative leader says they’re also looking for ways to cut taxes again.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the subject of much speculation for the 2020 presidential election, took time to chat with WKSU about some of his priorities, including tax and health care reform.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republicans’ federal tax law changes are in full effect this year, and the average federal tax refund is down nearly 9 percent from a year ago. The 2017 law lowers federal withholding paychecks and increases the standard deduction for individuals, but it also takes away some deductions.

Updated at 4:39 p.m. ET

President Trump promised that his tax changes, passed in 2017, would give most Americans a tax cut.

However, as the first federal returns for 2018 come in, some taxpayers are discovering an unpleasant surprise: Their refunds are smaller than expected. In fact, as of Feb. 1, the average refund is down by about 8 percent from the same time last year, according to the IRS.

Nick Evans / WOSU

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson toured Lakeisha Terry’s home in the Milo Grogan neighborhood on Friday morning. She showed off the backyard with new sod, the garage, and her two boys’ bedroom—with wall decals of their names above their beds. 

The IRS is planning to unveil a new tax return form — as soon as Friday — that is the size of a large postcard.

It's been touted as a way to simplify tax filing and is something President Trump pushed congressional Republicans to come up with. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the document "will be a postcard, as we've promised, and hard-working taxpayers won't have to spend as much time filling out their taxes."

Sounds good, right? Imagine, filing your taxes on a postcard. What could be easier?

Over the weekend, President Trump made his second visit to Northeast Ohio in less than two months. While in Cleveland, he met with Republican donors, talked about tax cuts passed last year, and endorsed Republican Senate hopeful Jim Renacci.

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