A plan to cut state taxes is making its way through the legislative process. But the measure bears little resemblance to one passed by the Senate.
Senate Bill 2858 was a $575 million plan to cut the state’s corporate franchise tax, portions of the income tax and self-employment taxes.
But the House has approved a version that does away with all cuts except the lowest bracket of the state income tax.
House Ways and Means Chair, Republican Jeff Smith of Columbus says the House plan is a way to keep several tax plans alive include one to address state highways.
“We brought you the mildest form we can to try to keep this legislation alive,” says Smith. “Most of all, we’ve got to do something for the roads and the bridges.”
Democrats, however, tried to amend the bill by adding specific language that would allow the state to begin raising funds to improve the state’s roads and bridges.
Democratic Representative Steve Holland of Plantersville says this is the last chance lawmakers have to bring infrastructure repair to the bargaining table during House and Senate budget negotiations.
“Every county, all 82, have needs,” says Hollands, “extraordinary needs. This is an opportunity to, at least, allow six people to sit down and see if indeed there is some kind of neutral ground that we can come to, to allow road maintenance.”
In addition, Democratic Representative Tommy Reynolds added an amendment that would require the lawmakers to establish a lottery before any tax cut could take place.
“Why can’t the people get what they want?” asks Reynolds. “That’s one way. We’ve done it many times on effective date. I don’t want fine technicality to stand in the way of what the people of this state want.”
Ultimately the House passed the amended tax cut plan by a vote of 76 to 43.
The Senate will have until Friday to agree to the changes made by the House. It will likely be negotiated at the end of the session.