Opposition to Ohio's "Marriage Tax" Unites Political Opposites

Aug 31, 2017

Democrat David Leland and Republican John Becker
Credit OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Ohio tax law still has a “marriage penalty," when married couples file jointly and pay more in state income taxes than they would pay separately if they were single. The issue has resulted in a union of an unlikely pair of sponsors.

“Our tax code encourages people to shack up rather than be married, and that’s just plain wrong," says conservative Republican John Becker of Cincinnati. He's vowing to giving married couples the option of filing state income taxes separately. He and Democratic Rep. David Leland of Columbus are sponsoring the bill.

Leland acknowledges they don’t agree on much, but on this issue they do.

“This is a tax cut that working families, 2.5 million working families in the state of Ohio would benefit from.”

If it passes, the state could lose $500 million a year. But the lawmakers say they hope to find a loophole, credit or exemption that could be eliminated to pay for this proposal.