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Ohio House Restores Tax Breaks For Lobbyists And Lawyers

Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder
Paul Vernon
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder

The Ohio House unanimously decided to bring back income tax breaks for lobbyists and lawyers after the professions were excluded in the state budget.

Earlier this year, when lawmakers passed the two-year budget, they specifically excluded lobbyists and lawyers from being able to take advantage of a tax break that was given to small businesses in Ohio.

However, the House unanimously voted to restore income tax breaks for lawyers and lobbyists who treat business income as personal income. That break, which allows businesses to avoid taxes on the first $250,000 of their income and pay a lower rate of 3% on the remaining money, had been offered to all small businesses in the past few years.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) says the reason for the change of heart for the two professions is simple.

“The Department of Taxation does not include occupations like the federal government does on income tax forms, and so basically there was no way to score it when it came through the budget and then there was no way for them to enforce it," Householder said.

The bill also includes two tax breaks for people in other income brackets.

The tax break restoration for lawyers and lobbyists was tacked on a Senate-passed bill that allows teachers to claim a deduction up to $250 for unreimbursed classroom supplies and professional development.

The House also added asales tax break for feminine hygiene products and adult diapers.

The dramatically different bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.