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Non-profit Research Group Urges Ohio Lawmakers to Close Tax Breaks

Photo of Gov. John Kasich.
Karen Kasler
: Gov. John Kasich goes over the details of the state budget in June 2013 - that budget included a small business tax cut that's now the third largest tax break in the state budget.

While members of the House say the state budget they passed is balanced, senators are worried they’re going to have to cut as much as $400 million from it. One research group is hoping lawmakers will look at closing some tax breaks before taking an ax to state programs.

There are 129 tax exemptions, credits and deductions in the budget, and various groups have suggested getting rid some of them. At the top of the list for Zach Schiller of the liberal leaning group Policy Matters Ohio is a tax break for small businesses called pass-through entities, which has been expanded since it was created in 2013. He says it’s too small to allow businesses to hire more workers, but is adding up to half a billion dollars a year.

“To me, I see it as it’s like flying an airplane over the state of Ohio and throwing money over the side.”

Schiller says this exemption is now the third largest tax break in the budget, just one of $9 billion in breaks for a variety of business and other groups in Ohio.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.