State Lawmakers Feather Their Own Nest…upddated 7/21/21

LFC Comments: Thanks to our Kirtland lobbyist for this article.

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Ohio Capital Journal
Wealthy state lawmakers to gain from income tax cuts in budget 
By 
Jake ZuckermanNolan Simmons –
July 9, 2021

Excerpts from the article:

Some of the wealthiest state lawmakers stand to save thousands of dollars annually on their taxes thanks to changes they enacted in the state budget. 

Lawmakers lowered tax rates for all income earners and raised the minimum threshold at which Ohioans pay taxes on their income. 

They also eliminated the top bracket (previously $221,300 and up), which allows those earners to pay a lower rate that was previously reserved for more modest earners. 

The cuts will cost $1.85 billion over the next two years, according to analysis from the Legislative Service Commission. 

Individual income tax rates

Old individual income bracketOld rateNew individual income bracketNew rate
00.00%00.00%
>$22,1502.85%>$25,0002.77%
>$44,2503.33%>$44,2503.23%
>$88,4503.80%>$88,4503.69%
>$110,6504.41%>$110,6503.99%
>$221,3004.80%

Sources: Ohio Department of Taxation, House Bill 110.Table: Jake Zuckerman  Get the data  Created with Datawrapper

Sen. Jerry Cirino, R-Kirtland, earned at least $361,000 last year between serving as a county commissioner (a post he no longer holds), drawing retirement benefits, serving on boards, and receiving at least $150,000 from a family trust. 

Using his current salary and last year’s earnings, Cirino will save about $2,300 thanks to the new cuts. 

The average Ohioan earns about $51,500 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This yields a tax cut of about $75 under the new policy. 

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Here is Cirino 2020 required financial disclosure statement:

https://www2.jlec-olig.state.oh.us/fds/Filer/PrintableFilerStatement.aspx?id=8370&yid=2020

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We received the following comment from Mr. Chuck Laughlin of Concord Township:

The bottom line is that I am getting tired of this false comparison of how the rich are the beneficiaries of all these tax cuts.  The article said that Jerry Cirino will save about $2300 in taxes vs about $75 for the average taxpayer.  So, instant presto, the rich are now getting richer and aren’t having to pay their fair share, whatever that means.

How about if we look at a comparison of how much Cirino pays in state taxes (before and after the tax cut) versus what the average taxpayer pays? 

Because the income tax is progressive, the “rich” pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.  For the federal income tax, a small percentage of taxpayers pay a vast majority of the taxes.  And may people simply do not pay federal income tax, but instead receive credits.  You might say they pay a negative income tax.  It only stands to reason if taxes are cut, those who pay the most stand to benefit the most.  What, should we tax only the rich?  And everyone else is entitled to a cut of what they haven’t worked for?  The progressive income tax is clearly intended as a means to transfer wealth.

If we had a tax where everyone paid the same amount, then when taxes were cut, everyone would get the same tax savings.  Is this what we want so that everyone gets the same amount in a tax cut?

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Categories: State of Ohio

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