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Proposal to lessen state tax shifting rejected by House GOP

Cera proposes solution to state sales tax hike on working people
May 4, 2016
Democratic Newsroom

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today expressed disappointment that the state legislature rejected an amendment aimed at helping working and middle-class families make ends meet by eliminating the sales tax on everyday essential items, such as feminine hygiene products, disposable baby diapers and non-prescription medications and drugs.

The Bellaire lawmaker offered a floor amendment to House Bill 466, legislation to exempt online advertisements from the state sales and use tax. 

“Just as businesses are seeking to roll back the sales tax shift that has been enacted over the past several years, Ohio’s working families are looking to the General Assembly for help,” said Cera. “Tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest one-percent have been paid for by shifting taxes onto middle-class and working families. This amendment would have helped restore fairness to Ohio’s tax code.” 

In addition to reducing the cost of the 4.5 percent sales tax increase enacted through the 2013 state budget, the lawmaker’s amendment would have established a bi-partisan Legislative Commission on Middle Class Economic Strength to act as a backstop for middle-income Ohioans. The commission would be charged with reporting the fiscal impacts of any legislation that shifts tax responsibility. 

Cera’s amendment was similar to House Bill 484, legislation included as part of an economic agenda recently proposed by Democratic lawmakers. In January, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate announced their “Focus on The Future” agenda, an eight-bill package Democratic legislators say will ensure economic stability for the next generation of working people in Ohio.