OHIO MANUFACTURING ASSOCIATION Ads: Reduce state business tax

The group wants to end state taxes on machines and other business equipment.
COLUMBUS -- An advocacy group representing the state's manufacturing companies is taking to the radio airwaves to ensure Ohioans hear about the need to revise the state's business taxes.
The Ohio Manufacturing Association, which represents more than 2,000 manufacturers across the state, said it will begin airing 60-second radio ads today in all major Ohio media markets to make its case.
The spots come on the same day that Republican Gov. Bob Taft is expected to lay out his vision to reform personal-income and business taxes as part of his State of the State address to state lawmakers and other state officials and dignitaries.
"Our goal in each of these markets is to be able to run enough ads over the next couple of weeks to highlight the impact of taxes [on business]," said Randy Leffler, an OMA spokesman.
"The goal of the ads is to raise the awareness that taxes in Ohio are a major disincentive for manufacturers to invest more in the state and to bring new manufacturing here."
In one of the 60-second spots, listeners hear the laboring sounds of a stamping press when one worker says: "Heard on the news last night that competition from China is getting tougher every day."
Another worker responds: "Yeah, but I'll tell you what: Give Ohio workers the tools to do the job, and we can compete with anybody."
The first worker continues: "That's the problem. My foreman told me we're not going to get new equipment because the State makes companies pay big taxes on machinery. It's like government is working against us -- taxing the tools we need to compete."
An announcer adds: "At a time when countries like China are doing everything they can to encourage investment and take our jobs, Ohio's outdated tax code actually penalizes companies for investing in their workers. Manufacturers have to pay big taxes on tools and equipment that protect jobs and improve competitiveness." In the ad, the second worker continues: "Ohio workers can compete. But we need help from Ohio's legislators to fix our tax code and save our jobs." The spot then advises listeners to call state lawmakers and to "Tell them to stop taxing our tools."
Proposed change
Taft is expected to propose the reduction of much of the tangible personal property tax, which is assessed on machinery, equipment and inventories.
In his address and in the two-year, executive state budget proposal he'll present to state lawmakers later this week, Taft is also expected to propose cutting personal income tax rates as well as other tax reforms.
The current, two-year $48 billion state budget runs through June 30. Under state law, officials must enact the next state spending plan by July 1.
"We're in favor of eliminating tangible personal property taxes," Leffler said. "We're in favor of reducing the personal-income tax rates." However, the potential move to reduce the tangible personal property taxes has caused concern among some advocates for public schools because school districts are among the biggest recipients of tangible personal property tax revenue.
According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, in 2003 the tangible personal property taxes generated $1.6 billion. Of that, public schools collected about $1.17 billion, the state tax department said.
Leffler said manufacturers don't have a position on what should replace the tangible personal property tax and the lowered income tax.
"Manufacturing is really shouldering a disproportionate share of the business taxes in this state," Leffler said. "We've lost somewhere over 200,000 manufacturing jobs since the year 2000 and our belief is that something really needs to be done to reform the [tax] system now."
Leffler declined to say how much the manufacturers were paying to air the ads that will initially run for two weeks. The ads could potentially run through the early summer as legislative debate continues on the state budget, he said.
The spots will run in the Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton, Akron and Youngstown markets, Leffler said.

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