Time never slows down, which means we are rapidly approaching April 15th, the day that many of us circle in red so we do not forget to submit our taxes. This year, however, Americans have a couple more days to spare, due to the fact that April 15th falls on a Sunday, followed by Emancipation Day on Monday the 16th. So this year, the deadline to file your taxes is April 17th, but it is a good idea not to wait until the last seconds to fill out your tax forms.

Taxes have been a major area of focus for the Ohio House over the past year and three months. A number of bills have been passed and signed by the governor that have focused on relieving Ohio citizens from the heavy tax burden that had recently existed in the state. These reforms help both small businesses and private individuals, keeping more of their hard-earned money in their pockets.

The passage of the biennium budget last June included the elimination of the estate tax, which allows individuals and families to keep more of their assets and remain in Ohio after retirement. I happily supported this portion of the budget because I believe the government already finds enough ways to tax the citizens. It should not tax them upon their death. By keeping more money in the pockets of Ohioans, those people will have the freedom to spend their money how they see fit and help our local economies at the same time.

Another tax bill was directed towards helping businesses that are expanding their services and hiring new employees. House Bill 18, passed at the end of last year, offers a tax credit for businesses needing to relocate that move into a vacant building. During Ohio’s difficult economic situation over the past few years, a number of businesses and companies fled the state looking for better economic conditions. This migration left a large number of vacant buildings behind—many of which that are still in good condition or can be easily restored. HB 18 gives an incentive for growing businesses to utilize existent facilities, bringing valuable jobs back to areas that were hardest hit.

The House has given unwavering support during this General Assembly to bringing quality jobs and businesses back to Ohio, and it will continue that push throughout the coming year. Much of that effort has hinged on the understanding that a heavy tax burden—both on businesses and individual citizens—only hinders economic growth and in the long run does far more harm than good.


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