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A proposed flat tax would cost Ohio billions each year

Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens
Ohio House
Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens

The top priority piece of legislation for House Speaker Jason Stephens will cost the state of Ohio billions of dollars every year, according to a fiscal analysis from the researchers who do those reports for state lawmakers.

House Bill 1 would create a flat tax and make changes in property taxes

The analysis from the Legislative Service Commission found the cost to the state of converting to a 2.75% flat tax would be $2.5 billion in the first year of the budget, nearly $1.8 million in the second and more than $1.8 billion every year after that, escalating each time.

In an interview last month, Stephens said he wants to explore the idea.

“I'm sure there'll be a lot of tax attorneys and folks looking at these numbers and there'll be spreadsheets all over the place and local governments. But that's part of making these a priority.”

The analysis also found because of one change, residential and agricultural property taxpayers would see a tax increase of nearly a billion dollars.

The report found schools and local governments would lose $538 million in local tax revenues to pay for the changes.