Tax cuts, wind energy restrictions signed into law by Gov. John Kasich. Here are four takeaways
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Gov. John Kasich gave final approval Monday to sweeping budget review legislation that includes expanded tax cuts and credits and major new restrictions on new wind turbines in the state.Kasich, speaking at a signing ceremony held at a food bank in suburban Columbus, praised the tax cuts, as well as funding for issues such as mental health services.Here are four takeaways from the legislation, House Bill 483.
1) Ohioans will see larger one-year income and business tax cuts
State taxpayers will get a 10-percent cut on this year’s income taxes, up from 9 percent previously approved by lawmakers.
Small businesses will be able to deduct 75 percent of their income up to $250,000 in 2014, up from a 50-percent deduction in previous law.
The cuts come as a result of higher revenues and lower than expected state spending.
2) Earned income tax credits and personal tax exemptions will expand
Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit will double, from 5 percent to 10 percent of the federal credit.
Personal income tax exemptions will increase as well. Families earning less than $40,000 per year can now claim a $2,200 exemption, up from $1,700. Families making between $40,000 and $80,000 can claim a $1,950 exemption, up from $1,700.
3) New restrictions could cripple wind farm construction in the state
Under House Bill 483, wind turbines will have to be at least 1,300 feet or so — depending on blade length — from a property line. Current law requires turbines to be about 1,300 feet from a structure and roughly 550 feet from a neighboring property line.
Legislative proponents of the measure say it will ensure that property owners aren’t disturbed by noise, shadows, or falling ice from a neighboring turbine. But the wind energy industry claims the restrictions are so strict, they will bring a halt to any new wind farm construction in Ohio.
Kasich didn’t talk much about the changes, though he said he’s a supporter of wind energy and other renewable energy sources and felt a recently passed two-year freeze on Ohio’s renewable energy standards — or a “pause,” as he put it — struck the right balance.
4) The governor vetoed three relatively minor parts of the bill
Kasich used his line-item veto power to strike three provisions. The measures would have allowed school districts to alter construction agreements with the state, given a tax break to private water corporations, and provided sales tax information to county commissioners.
5) There’s now more funding for many social service programs
HB 483 includes $10 million for adult protective services, as well as $47.5 million in new money toward crisis intervention and treating mental illness and addiction.