In June, the General Assembly approved House Bill 153, the two-year state operating budget. Despite being faced with filling a multi-billion dollar shortfall, we were able to pass a balanced budget that maintains funding for areas such as education and health and human services without raising taxes. Additionally, the budget contains a number of other tax reforms that will help further job creation and economic development in Ohio. Because my colleagues and I believe that the key to our economic recovery is reducing the tax burden on families and companies, the budget implements the final installment of the 21-percent income tax that was first approved in 2005. It is estimated that this will put more than $800 million back into the wallets of Ohioans at a time when it is needed most. House Bill 153 also includes roughly $1.7 billion in property tax relief for Ohio homeowners. Another important reform contained in the budget is the elimination of Ohio's estate tax by 2013. Also known as the "death tax," the estate tax has driven businesses out of our state and made it more difficult for family-owned businesses and farms to be passed on to future generations. Eliminating this onerous tax will put our state on a more level playing field when in comes to attracting and retaining business to Ohio. We also created a new tax credit for individuals investing in small businesses. InvestOhio permits Ohioans to receive a 10 percent tax credit if they invest in a small business and maintain that investment for two years. With nearly half of all Ohioans employed by these types of businesses, anything that helps them grow and thrive provides a boost to our economy. Other tax-related changes in the budget include credits to encourage community revitalization and job retention among major employers. Taken together, these reforms will let families and businesses keep more of their hard-earned money in these difficult economic times while helping Ohio get back on the path to prosperity. Tip of the month: The Ohio Department of Commerce maintains a listing of abandoned property - such as customer deposits, insurance proceeds or uncashed dividend checks - belonging to Ohio residents. If you believe you have unclaimed funds, you can contact the Unclaimed Funds Division at 1-877-644-6823 to initiate the claims process. You can also perform an online search at www.unclaimedfundstreasurehunt.ohio.gov.
Senator Gayle Manning represents the 13th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses Lorain and Huron counties and eastern portions of Seneca County. Her office can be reached by phone at (614) 644-7613 or by e-mailing SD13@senate.state.oh.us.
 
 
 
  
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PHOTO: Manning Joins Governor For Signing Of Bill To Strengthen Ohio's Protection Order Laws

 

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A Veterans Day Salute To Our Service Members

 

The brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces are always deserving of thanks. We owe them gratitude every day, every month, and every year. This Veterans Day, I want to take this opportunity to pay special tribute to veterans in Ohio and across the country.