Legislation would give college grads tax break

By Marc Kovac

Recipients must commit to staying in Ohio at least five years.

COLUMBUS — Ohio college graduates who stay in the state would be eligible for 10 years of income-tax breaks under legislation introduced in the Ohio Senate.

Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Canfield, D-33rd, offered Senate Bill 198 with hopes of keeping more science, technology, engineering and math degree holders in Ohio, to whom the incentive would be directed.

“We all know that brain drain is a major problem facing our state today,” Schiavoni told members of the Senate’s ways and means committee. “I’ve seen it firsthand as many of my friends, neighbors and former classmates decided to pursue careers in other states. Some of our best and brightest leave Ohio and never come back.”

The legislation had its first committee hearing Wednesday.

SB 198 would provide tax credits of $1,000 for associate degree holders, $5,000 for bachelor’s degrees and $10,000 for master’s or doctorates, with one-tenth of the totals credited per year over a 10-year period.

Recipients would be required to stay in the state at least five years or pay back credits they already received and forfeit any that are remaining.

The bill is similar to one introduced earlier this year in the Ohio House, though Schiavoni said he lowered the credit totals to “lessen the burden on the state while still providing incentive for these future professionals.”

mkovac@dixcom.com

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