Ohio House Votes To Restore Income Tax Break To Lobbyists And Lawyers

Oct 10, 2019

The Ohio House has unanimously reversed that, passing a bill that would restore that tax break for those professions.

Earlier this year, when lawmakers passed the two-year budget, they specifically excluded lobbyists and lawyers from being able to take advantage of a tax break that was given to small businesses in Ohio. 

But the House unanimously voted to restore income tax breaks for lawyers and lobbyists who treat business income as personal income. That break, which allows businesses to avoid taxes on the first $250,000 of their income and pay a lower rate of 3 percent on the remaining money, had been offered to all small businesses in the past few years. 

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) says the reason for the change of heart for the two professions is simple. 

“The Department of Taxation does not include occupations like the federal government does on income tax forms so basically there was no way for them to score it when it through the budget and then there was no way for them to enforce it," Householder explained. 

But the bill includes two other tax breaks for people in other income brackets.

The tax break restoration for lawyers and lobbyists was tacked on a Senate-passed bill that allows teachers to claim a deduction up to $250 for unreimbursed classroom supplies and professional development. 

The House also added something else onto the bill - a sales tax break for feminine hygiene products. That tax has often been called the "pink tax" by lawmakers who have worked to eliminate it in recent years, saying it is unfair to women, especially those who find it difficult to pay for tampons and pads. Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) says this little tax break makes a big difference for some families.

“We are giving women and girls in our state more access to products that can help them go to school, go to work, to fully participate in their community," Kelly says.

Adult diapers are also included in the sales tax exemption passed by the House.

The dramatically different bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.