Raise Taxes, Kill Jobs

State Representative Nan Baker
As a small business owner I understand the challenges that the businesses in our community are facing, and I am committed to expanding employment opportunities and making Ohio more business-friendly. Now more than ever, it is essential that state leaders focus on getting people back to work by attracting businesses and jobs to our state, and the first crucial step is reexamining our tax laws to ensure that we are providing enough incentives to start or expand a business in Ohio. 

Today’s global market is highly competitive and highly mobile, and businesses frequently relocate from high-tax states to low-tax states where they have the best chance for economic success. However, Ohio has the 7th highest tax burden in the nation and conveys a strong message that we punish, not reward, economic success. Thus, the growing financial burden on taxpayers will ultimately inhibit business growth and job creation in Ohio.

Raising taxes on businesses compels college graduates, professionals and entrepreneurs to flee Ohio in search of better business environments. And with those highly valuable professionals and self-starters also go vital jobs and investments in the community. In the last decade more than 3.5 million people abandoned states with high income taxes, like Ohio, and relocated to states with no income tax. Not surprisingly, states with no income taxes, like Texas, New Hampshire and Florida, created 89 percent more jobs and had 32 percent faster income growth than high-tax states. These figures prove that punitive taxes on savings, investments and profits compel many businesses to migrate to business-friendly states. 

To witness how low tax rates can positively affect business growth, look no further than the Lone Star State. Texas is a shining model of how low taxes can rouse job creation and business expansion. While it has no income tax, Texas created more jobs in 2008 than all other states combined. And on top of that, it is one of only three states that are reducing taxes this year.

There is a valuable lesson to be learned from Texas’s example – that the spirit entrepreneurship can create more economic opportunity than raising taxes ever could. While tax increases during a recession may seem like a quick and easy fix, the long-term repercussions of job loss would plague us for years to come. To get Ohioans back to work, it is vital that state leaders reexamine our tax code to ensure we are doing all we can to make Ohio a great place to live, work and start a business. As the ranking member on the House Economic Development Committee I hope to work toward a business-friendly tax code that will attract new jobs and help business expansion in our state. 

If you have any thoughts or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at (614) 466-0961 or write to me at Representative Nan Baker, 77 S. High Street, 10th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.  You may also email me at District16@ohr.state.oh.us.

Nan Baker is the State Representative for Ohio's 16th District.
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Volume 1, Issue 2, Posted 2:13 PM, 09.08.2009