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Government and Politics

Business organizations push back on expanding the state sales tax to their services
Gov. John Kasich would expand the tax to about 80 services; wants to offset that with a cut in income taxes

Bill Cohen

Some Ohio legislators are continuing to hear a parade of witnesses complaining about Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to apply a 5 percent state sales tax and local piggy-back taxes to about 80 new services.

The list includes services that individuals often buy, such as movie tickets, cable TV, haircuts, parking, and travel agents. The list also includes services that businesses often use -- for example, public relations, lobbying, legal services, bookkeeping, and accounting.

That’s the reason that some business groups are testifying against the proposed tax changes. Tom Zaino represents about 20,000 CPAs. He also used to be Ohio's tax commissioner when Republican Bob Taft was governor.
In an interview with statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen, Zaino says most of the sales tax hike would fall on the shoulders of businesses, so it’s a bad idea.

A Q and A with Zaino on an expanded sales tax

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Zaino is helping Ohio CPA’s fight a proposal to apply a 5 percent state sales tax to about 80 new services. Current Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa has defended the idea of broadening the sales tax. He stresses what his boss, Gov. John Kasich, has been stressing: Broadening the sales tax could help pay for a massive cut in the state income tax.

Backers of the tax cut and tax shift argue that a 50 percent income tax cut would help small businesses expand and hire more workers.

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