State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) announced today that he has been selected to serve on the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Committee, a panel created to review the state’s tax policies and develop a plan that reflects Ohio’s changing economy. The Bellaire lawmaker hopes the newly formed committee will study tax changes to reverse the recent state budget cuts that have devastated local communities and underfunded public education. Rep. Cera also serves as ranking member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
“Ohio has seen a dramatic shift in taxes in recent years at the expense of working families, schools and communities,” said Cera. “Tax cuts for the wealthiest Ohioans need to stop. I hope I can work with this panel to make changes to the tax code that will grow the economy from the middle out.”
The Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Committee will also focus on modernizing the tax for oil and gas extraction. The panel will examine the current severance tax rate and recommend changes aimed at benefitting communities in the shale region of the state while helping the oil and gas industry continue to expand. The deadline for the committee to report its findings on the severance tax is Oct. 1, 2015.
“I strongly believe that a portion of any new severance tax must go back into our local communities to improve infrastructure, fund essential services like police and fire and restore the cuts made to local governments,” said Cera. “We must consider the role of low market prices, future growth, infrastructure and other cost factors when examining changes to the state severance tax. Regulation through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and a fair tax will ensure that companies that play by the rules can thrive here in Ohio.”
Rep. Cera currently represents Ohio’s 96th House District.