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Study Finds Ohio Should Reinstate Corporate Income Tax

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Mark Lennihan

Ohio is one of only six states in the country that doesn’t have an income tax on corporate profits. A liberal leaning think tank that studies public policy says that needs to change.

Policy Matters Ohio research director Zach Schiller says while the pandemic has hurt many small businesses, big corporations are seeing huge profits.

The state’s corporate profits income tax was repealed in 2005 to make Ohio more competitive for business development and retention, but Schiller says a new reportshows it hasn’t worked out that way.

“We haven’t seen our incomes improve relative to the country," Schiller says. "We haven’t seen our jobs improve relative to the country. If those kinds of tax cuts were effective, we would know it by now."

One estimate shows a 8.5% tax could provide nearly $500 million a year in revenue. Schiller says that money could be used to help many Ohioans right now as the state battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think the uncertain revenue situation we are in now, the kinds of investments that we much need to make, and the hurt that so many Ohioans are now experiencing, all suggest that this is the time to bring it back," he says.

Many Republican lawmakers have said they want to cut taxes even more, though they’ve also expressed concern about the damage from the pandemic done to small businesses that were closed while big retailers stayed open.

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.