Peterson Applauds Approval Of Small Business Tax Cut, Historic Investment In Education
Senate budget focuses on job growth, economic development
June 06, 2013
 
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COLUMBUS — State Senator Bob Peterson today applauded the Ohio Senate’s approval of House Bill 59, the state budget bill 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.

“Small businesses are a major driver of our economy, and this tax relief will directly impact the ability of these employers to move forward with equipment upgrades and other improvements that will help grow their business,” Peterson said. “We’ve made a great deal of progress in the last two years in creating job and economic development opportunities, and this plan is the next step in this effort.” 

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.

During budget hearings, Peterson served as Chairman of the Finance Subcommittee on General Government, one of three new subcommittees created by Senate President Keith Faber (R- Celina) to allow all Senate members the opportunity to participate in the process. The subcommittee heard from more than 100 witnesses on topics ranging from veterans’ and local government issues to agriculture. Peterson also won support for an amendment that permits the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to establish rules that would allow a employer to become self-insured if they meet certain criteria.

Other provisions included by the Senate implement the Governor’s proposal to permit the BWC 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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