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.

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Opinion -

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

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