State leaders discuss tax cuts, benefits for business

By Kalea Hall


Through the help of state-operated programs, local company KTSDI LLC has been able to expand.

The Business Resource Network helped company leaders find the resources they needed to grow the staff from one to a dozen and obtain grants for training and safety.

“Those programs are filtering down, and they are coming here,” said Ken Timmings, manager of KTSDI. “I will attest to that.”

Timmings expressed the benefits KTSDI, which works with Original Equipment Manufacturers to provide electronic, hydraulic and mechanical control systems, has reaped through the state programs at a Monday meeting with business owners, the state tax commissioner, director of the development- services agency and project manager for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The meeting, hosted by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber at the Covelli Centre downtown, promoted the programs the state has for small businesses and Gov. John Kasich’s proposed tax cuts the state says will help small businesses.

The proposal includes the elimination of taxes on businesses with income of up to $2 million annually. A 23 percent income-tax cut for all taxpayers over the next two years also is proposed.

Overall, it calls for a $500 million tax cut.

Tax Commissioner Joe Testa said the group travels throughout the state to deliver this information to business owners.

“We want to make sure people understand what the total package is,” Testa said.

The governor’s proposal includes an increase in sales tax from 5.75 percent to 6.25 percent; it also broadens the state’s sales-tax base to more services, increases Ohio’s cigarette tax from $1.25 to $2.25 per pack and increases severance tax on oil and gas producers to 6.5 percent.

The budget proposals still are under review by the state Legislature.

In that case, the word would get out to businesses about how any changes would affect them.

Business owners took interest in the Career Exploration Program offered by the Development Services Agency to help high-school students explore career options. Through a 20-week internship at 200 hours, the business can receive 50 percent back for the intern’s wages. The department must approve the internship before it begins, and a final report must be sent in outlining the intern’s experience.

“Come look at our services,” said David Goodman, director of the agency.

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