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Bipartisan legislation would end Ohio's marriage penalty

August 31, 2017
David Leland News

Press Release Poster

State Reps. John Becker (R-Union Township) and David Leland (D-Columbus) today introduced House Bill 333 to eliminate Ohio’s marriage penalty tax by allowing married couples to file separately on their state tax returns. A married couple with each person working full time and earning minimum wage pays an Ohio Marriage Penalty of $159, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

“Ohioans shouldn’t be forced to pay higher taxes just because they get married,” said Leland, who introduced the same bill in 1983.* “This bipartisan legislation will eliminate the Ohio marriage penalty and allow over two-and-a-half-million Ohioans to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.”

Ohio law requires an individual’s state filing status to match their federal filing status. But under the legislation, Ohioans would save money by not being tied to their federal filing status but instead be free to choose the filing option that suits them best, whether that be a separate or joint return.

“In brief, the marriage penalty is simply the difference between the total income tax that a married couple will pay compared to two single people. Filing both federal and Ohio tax returns separate is often worse than filing both joint,” said Becker. “Ohio’s tax code is a lose-lose situation for married tax payers. This legislation fixes that.”

Ohio is the only state in the Midwest region with this requirement in place. The bill now awaits committee assignment for further consideration.