Exemptions committee in need of help
More than 125 tax exemptions of various kinds cost Ohio an estimated $9 billion a year — and they tend to grow over time.
That’s why, nearly two years ago, the General Assembly laudably created a joint Tax Expenditure Review Committee to review each of those loopholes at least once every eight years and pass judgment on their validity, cost and any unintended impacts, in order to recommend elimination, modification or retention of each loophole.
So far, given its lack of dedicated staff, the seven-member panel — composed of three members each from the Ohio House and Senate, plus Ohio’s tax commissioner or his designee — is working at a rather slow pace . ...
The law creating the committee requires the Legislative Service Commission’s staff “to assist the committee.” That’s not the same as having researchers assigned full-time to help out.
So the panel chair, Sen. Scott Oelslager, a Canton Republican, has wisely recommended in the committee’s recent report that the next General Assembly, to be seated in January, “consider hiring additional assistance to aid in the review process.” ...
The details can be worked out. But the committee could use some staff help — and should get it.
Read the full editorial from the Cleveland Plain Dealer at bit.ly/2BOCMH6