Tuesday, January 11, 2011

House GOP Introduces Bill to Eliminate Ohio’s Estate Tax


COLUMBUS—Assistant House Majority Whip Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) and State Representative Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) today jointly introduced legislation to eliminate the Ohio estate tax, also known as the “death tax.” House Bill 3 will allow small business owners, farmers and homeowners to rightfully pass on their assets to their heirs without fear of being taxed twice on their life’s savings, which will make Ohio more competitive for entrepreneurial growth and investment.
“House Bill 3 is just one of the many ways we will be working to aggressively improve the way the state of Ohio does business,” said Rep. Grossman. “When you hear of the 400,000 jobs that have left the state of Ohio, 90 percent of those have gone to other states—not overseas. We need to be more business-friendly, and I think that this legislation is a huge step in the right direction for the people of Ohio and for the generations to follow.”
“We are beginning the process of ending a fundamentally unfair and egregious tax, a tax that is often the case of double taxation,” said Rep. Hottinger. “This bill is about restoring fairness to Ohio’s hardworking citizens, our families, small business owners, as well as our state’s farmers. Ending this tax will have a tremendous effect on job creation in the state of Ohio.”
Ohio currently has the lowest estate tax exemption in the United States. Only $338,333 of the taxable estate is exempt from the estate tax, compared to an average exemption amount of approximately $1.7 million for other states that have an estate tax. For this reason, supporters of the elimination of the estate tax believe that it takes direct aim at Ohio’s middle class, undermines job creation, and discourages saving and investing in the state.
“The estate tax represents essentially a 7 percent incentive for capital to not come to Ohio or to leave Ohio,” said Jack Boyle, executive director of the Ohio Prosperity Initiative. “[House Bill 3] is the beginning of Ohio making its step back to competitiveness. We’ve had a 30-year slide of our state’s economic fortunes, and this is the day that we start changing that.”
“The Ohio Farm Bureau has long stood as an opponent of the estate tax,” said Beth Vanderkooi, director of state policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “We’re very excited that Representatives Grossman and Hottinger are going to try to [enact this bill] in Ohio this year, and we’re strongly behind that.”
House Bill 3 was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee, where it will undergo further consideration.

UPDATE: Co-Sponsor, House Majority Whip John Adams (R-Sidney):
“Shrinking the footprint of government permits the atmosphere for the job creators to do what they do best. That is; taking risks. Keeping their capitol here in Ohio allows them to do just that,” House Majority Whip Adams said.