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Ohio Lawmakers Debating State Budget Plans

COLUMBUS (Dana Jay) -- Members of the Ohio House and Senate have begun conference committee negotiations over the state budget.

The six-member bipartisan committee, which is made up of members from both chambers, must reconcile different versions of the $62 billion spending plan. 

A major difference lies in the chambers’ tax plans.  Republicans control both the House and the Senate.

The House plan would cut individual income taxes by 7 percent over two years.  Ohioans in the state’s two most populous tax brackets would save, at most, $139 per year.

The Senate plan would cut income taxes for businesses that make $750,000 or less in a year.  According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, those businesses would save approximately $22,000 a year.

The budget plan Gov. John Kasich, (R )-Ohio, pitched in February included an individual income tax cut of 20 percent over two years and the same business tax cut approved by the Senate.

The governor told reporters Tuesday he thinks lawmakers still might find a way to include both tax cuts in the budget plan, which must pass by June 30.

“I don’t want to be a fortune teller here, but I think we will have a significant tax cut for small business, and I hope we’re going to have more rate cuts,” Kasich said. 
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