Manufacturers Score Budget Victories

Late last week, the Ohio House and Senate settled their differences and passed a compromise version of the two-year state budget (House Bill 33). During his review of the budget plan, Gov. Mike DeWine protected manufacturing interests by vetoing OMA-opposed “economic development” language that would have made anti-consumer changes to the state’s utility law.

The vetoed provisions (item 12) would have allowed electric and natural gas utility companies to charge customers hundreds of millions of dollars to fund infrastructure for speculative economic development, while removing important consumer protections. In this statement, the OMA commended the governor’s action. (Read Gongwer News Service’s report.)

The budget includes several OMA-supported initiatives to grow the manufacturing workforce and boost economic development. These include:

Meanwhile, the budget makes imprudent changes to the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT). Instead of reducing CAT rates and minimums by 25% across the board — as originally proposed by the Senate Finance Committee — the budget significantly narrows which businesses will pay the CAT, shifting the burden to larger businesses, which are manufacturers in many cases. The OMA will monitor this development and its impact on the manufacturing community, especially during the next economic downturn.

Members can expect an in-depth budget report from OMA Public Policy Services next week. 7/6/2023