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Robert Higgs
By Robert Higgs July 24, 2011

So-called 'death tax' to perish at year's end

Ohio"s estate tax was a favorite target for Gov. John Kasich, who promised during his campaign to eliminate it.
   
He labeled it as a "death tax" that was driving successful people from the state to preserve their assets. On the campaign trail he frequently would tell the crowd that if they wanted to find a retired successful Ohio entrepreneur they should look in Naples, Fla.
   
"Kill the death tax. You know the death tax, all these people who are successful, they're moving to Florida," he told WSYX Channel 6 in Columbus after announcing his candidacy. "Florida doesn't have a death tax. So we've got to get rid of that so the entrepreneurs, the job creators, stay."
   
The tax, which hits the 7 percent of estates in Ohio that are valued over $338,333, funnels about $250 million a year to local governments and $60 million to state coffers.
   
Kasich signed a 3,262-page budget document on June 30 in a ceremony at the Statehouse. It took effect a few hours later at midnight. Provisions in the bill abolish the estate tax effective Jan. 1, 2013.
   
Based on that action, we move the Kasich-O-Meter to Promise Kept.

Robert Higgs
By Robert Higgs May 19, 2011

Estate tax repeal moves to Ohio Senate in House-passed budget bill

Wrapped up in the budget bill approved by the Ohio House was a provision to eliminate Ohio"s estate tax.

The tax was a favorite target for Gov. John Kasich, who promised during his campaign to eliminate it.

He labeled it as a "death tax" that was driving successful people from the state to preserve their assets. On the campaign trail he frequently would tell the crowd that if they wanted to find a successful Ohio entrepreneur they should look in Naples, Fla.

"Kill the death tax. You know the death tax, all these people who are successful, they're moving to Florida," he told WSYX Channel 6 in Columbus after announcing his candidacy. "Florida doesn't have a death tax. So we've got to get rid of that so the entrepreneurs, the job creators, stay."

The tax, which hits the 7 percent of estates in Ohio that are valued over $338,333, funnels about $250 million a year to local governments and $60 million to state coffers.

On May 5 the House approved a state budget for the next two years by a 59-to-40 vote. Provisions in the bill abolish the estate tax starting in 2013.

The budget bill now is pending in the Senate, which has opened hearings on the legislation.

We previously had rated Kasich"s progress on this promise as In the Works. That was because legislation was introduced in the House in January specifically to repeal the tax.

That legislation hasn"t been enacted, and likely won"t be now that repeal of the tax is woven into the budget bill.

So we"ll leave the Kasich-O-Meter pointed at In the Works, based on passage of the budget bill.
 

Robert Higgs
By Robert Higgs January 12, 2011

Legislation introduced that would repeal the estate tax

Over and over again during his campaign for governor, John Kasich called for an end to Ohio's estate tax.

He labeled it as a "death tax" that was driving successful people from the state to preserve their assets. On the campaign trail he frequently would tell the crowd that if they wanted to find a successful Ohio entrepreneur they should look in Naples, Fla.

"Kill the death tax. You know the death tax, all these people who are successful, they're moving to Florida," he told WSYX Channel 6 in Columbus after announcing his candidacy. "Florida doesn't have a death tax. So we've got to get rid of that so the entrepreneurs, the job creators, stay."

Ohio doesn't collect tax on an estate unless its net taxable value is greater than $338,333, according to the Taxation Department. (The Census Bureau reports that Ohio's 2009 median family income was about $57,000 -- and the median value of an Ohio owner-occupied housing unit about $135,000.)

Municipalities get 80 percent of estate tax revenue. That amounted to about $231 million in the last fiscal year.

For Kasich to reach this goal, it will require cooperation from the General Assembly, but given that his party controls both chambers that help shouldn't be difficult to find.

House Speaker William G. Batchelder put repealing the estate tax high on the list of priorities for the House. On Tuesday (Jan. 11) House Republicans introduced legislation that included estate tax repeal as one piece of a broader plan to revamp how state and local governments deliver services.

The legislation still needs to move through the House and the Senate before Kasich could sign it.

But given the introduction of legislation, we move the rating for this Kasich-O-Meter promise to In the Works.

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