By KAREN KASLER
Republican Senate leaders say the budget they released yesterday is not the final product, but it does represent some of the changes they wanted to make to the House’s spending plan. And more changes are coming, with the deadline to sign the budget just over two weeks away.
The Senate budget increases the House’s income tax cut from 6.6 percent to 8 percent over two years. President Larry Obhof says with the Senate’s restoration of the small business tax deduction from $100,000 back to $250,000, Ohioans will benefit.
“It ends up at about $340-345 million dollars per year.”
But the budget also includes a 17 percent tax on e-cigarettes as “other tobacco products”, and preserves the increase in the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.
It also requires big online retailers to collect sales tax, which was allowed under a U. S. Supreme Court decision last year.
“We do not consider that a tax increase, and the House did not either, because under current Ohio law, at least theoretically, those taxes are due anyway,” Obhof said.
Obhof expects up to a thousand amendments to the budget, but says they won’t include anything related to the bill that some call a bailout for Ohio’s two nuclear power plants.