OMA tax counsel, Mark Engel of Bricker & Eckler, testified this week before the House 2020 Tax Committee, which is charged with taking a long-term view of Ohio tax policy and opportunities to improve it.
Reflecting on tax policy reforms of the past few years, Engel said: “Major tax reforms approved by the Ohio General Assembly in 2005 and additional reforms from 2011-2015 have led to significant improvements to a tax system that was for many years widely regarded as outdated. Reforms included reducing overall tax rates, eliminating tax on investment, broadening the tax base, providing more stable and predictable revenues, and simplifying compliance.
“The elimination of the tangible personal property tax, the corporate franchise tax, and the estate tax has strengthened the competitiveness of Ohio’s tax system. So has the reduction of the personal income tax rate as well as the creation of a broad-based, low-rate commercial activity tax.”
He reviewed Ohio’s mix of business taxes and urged caution in paying for lowering one type of tax by raising another. He also called for elimination of the sales tax on employment services and on industrial janitorial and maintenance services.