Oelslager Announces Approval Of Small Business Tax Cut, Historic Investment In Education
Senate budget bill focuses on job growth, economic development
 
 

COLUMBUS — State Senator Scott Oelslager today applauded the Ohio Senate’s approval of a state budget that includes a $1.4 billion tax cut for small businesses and makes the largest investment in public education in the last decade. The two-year, $61.8 billion budget also provides funding for state agencies and departments, as well as health and human services for Ohioans in need.

The centerpiece of the Senate’s version of the budget is the small business tax cut, which establishes a 50 percent tax break on the first $750,000 of net income. Small businesses employ roughly half of Ohio’s private-sector workforce and make up nearly 98 percent of all businesses in the state. This change aims to encourage job growth by enabling business owners to invest in their operations and payroll. 

“This budget reflects the Senate’s desire to support the business owners who help drive our economy and the children that represent the best and brightest our state has to offer,” said Oelslager. “We’ve made great progress in improving our economy in the last two years, and those efforts have contributed to our ability to provide significant tax relief and education investment in this budget.”

The Senate’s plan also increases state aid for K-12 education in Ohio by $717 million over the biennium – the largest such investment in the last decade. This increase supports the educational needs of all Ohio children by spreading resources among more districts, while lowering the number of schools on the “guarantee” by fiscal year 2015. The Senate also added $100 million for the newly created “Straight A Fund,” which provides grants to schools for measures that promote innovation and efficiency. An additional $200 million was added to support services associated with the third-grade reading guarantee, and early childhood education will receive an additional $30 million over the biennium.

Oelslager, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, noted that the committee heard from nearly 175 witnesses during hearings on House Bill 59. This is in addition to the more than 300 witnesses who provided testimony to the three Finance Subcommittees during a three-week period.

Other provisions included by the Senate implement the Governor’s proposal to permit the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to adopt plans to modernize the Bureau’s payment system and establish the College Readiness and Access Grant Program to support early college high school initiatives. Members also increased funding for children’s crisis care facilities, added $1 million to fight human trafficking and added $26.5 million to the Clean Ohio Program, which provides for the preservation of greenspaces and rehabilitation of former industrial sites.

The differences between the Senate- and House-passed versions of the budget will be addressed in a conference committee. Ohio is required to have a balanced budget, and by law it must be signed by July 1 – the start of the new fiscal year.

 
 
 
  
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