Ohio's Budget

Date: March 04, 2011

Ohio’s Operating Budget
House Bill 153
NFIB/Ohio Position:  Interested Party
The Ohio House and Senate approved the state’s operating budget on June 30, 2011.  The bill not only appropriates over $112.1 billion over the biennium, eliminating an $8 billion shortfall along the way, but also includes a significant number of policy changes to just about every program in government.  For NFIB members there were two key victories contained within the budget - the delivery of the promise of the final 4.2 percent reduction in the personal income tax and the elimination of Ohio’s death (estate) tax. 

Personal Income Tax – House Bill 153 (HB 153) kept the promise made to individual taxpayers and businesses that are structured as pass through entities by allowing the final 4.2 percent of an overall 21 percent reduction in personal income tax continue unimpeded.  The latest reporting by our members indicates that roughly 75 percent are structured as pass through entities.  As such, NFIB members were negatively impacted by the last administration’s decision to retroactively stop this income tax reduction.  Ohio’s policy makers delivered on their promise and put approximately $850 million back in the pockets of individuals and job creators.

Death (estate) Tax –
HB 153 eliminates Ohio’s death tax effective January 1, 2013.  Ohio has the lowest threshold for exemption in the country at $338,333.  For a small business owner that owns his/her building, a home, and a piece or two of expensive equipment, this threshold is easily reached.  Remember these assets have already been taxed at least once.  The elimination of this punitive tax will allow entrepreneurs to pass their businesses on, keep the family farm in the family, and help keep capital from leaving the state.  NFIB has been at the forefront of this issue for the better part of two decades.  Be sure to thank those that supported this important provision.

In addition to these two key small business victories, the state budget transforms the way the state manages Medicaid, expands school choice options, allows local governments to find efficiencies to lower their operating costs, creates avenues for privatizing prisons and the Ohio turnpike, amongst a host of other policy changes.

One interesting provision of note is the creation of Invest Ohio.  This provision will allow small businesses in Ohio to reinvest in their businesses and enjoy a 10 percent income tax credit, up to $1,000,000, for adding jobs, purchasing new equipment, expanding or simply retaining employees. To learn more about this program and to apply, click here.

House Bill 153 is a 6,000+ page document.  Please direct any specific questions regarding the budget to Chris Ferruso, NFIB/Ohio Legislative Director via email at

You may read any or all parts of House Bill 153 by clicking here.


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