Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Estate Tax Repeal Draws Hundreds of Supporters

COLUMBUS—Several hundred supporters gathered at the Ohio Statehouse today in support of House Bill 3, which would repeal Ohio’s economically punitive estate tax, more commonly  known as the “death tax.” When enacted, it 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.
At the press conference, which was attended by members of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Citizens United to End Ohio’s Estate Tax, Assistant House Majority Whip Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) and Rep. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) reiterated the necessity of making Ohio’s tax climate a national competitor for jobs, businesses and people.
“Ohio is one of only 17 states that currently impose a death tax on its citizens,” said Grossman. “As a result, we’ve experienced a flood of overtaxed business owners and people leaving our borders and moving into other states that welcome them with open arms. Our state simply has not been doing enough to convey to these people that we want their jobs, their investments and their contributions to our state economy.”
“For too long, Ohio’s estate tax has taken direct aim at our middle class and has contributed to our loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and people,” said Hottinger. “House Bill 3 is just one of the ways that we can reinvent how the State of Ohio does business so we can compete in the 21st century economy.”
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 say that it hurts Ohio’s middle class, undermines job creation, and discourages saving and investing in the state.
In addition to Reps. Grossman and Hottinger, other speakers who expressed their support for House Bill 3 were Rep. Bob Peterson (R-Sabina) and members of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Citizens United to End Ohio’s Estate Tax.