Ohio voters support higher tax rates for high incomes, state corporate tax
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A new survey shows support from likely Ohio voters for more taxes on richer residents, a higher minimum wage, and renewal of the child tax credit.
The survey, conducted in September through a partnership between Ohio thinktank Policy Matters Ohio and California-based polling firm Data for Progress, showed 71% of the nearly 1,400 Ohio voters polled supported a new tax bracket for residents making more than $250,000, and another for those making more than $500,000.
“Urban voters show the strongest support at 78%, compared to suburban voters (68%) and rural voters (69%),” the groups said in announcing the poll on Dec. 1.
A $15 per hour minimum wage was supported by 60% of voters, a 23-point margin over those opposed to the measure.
“The polling clearly shows that Ohioans believe those who do well in Ohio, should do right by Ohio and pay their fair share of taxes,” said Daniel Ortiz, outreach director for Policy Matters Ohio.
Minimum wage will go up to $10.10 per hour in January 2023 under a 2006 constitutional amendment that set an automatic increase based on inflation.
Just last week, Democrats introduced a plan to gradually raise the state minimum wage $1 per year, but it faces an uphill battle with the end of the General Assembly coming up at the end of December.
The bill, House Bill 69, was the source of debate in the Ohio House’s Commerce & Labor Committee, with some members of the GOP supermajority saying the struggles in the state were due to the workforce, not the wages.
Sponsors of the bill say both workforce training and minimum wage support can be a part of the legislature’s push to help Ohio workers and the state economy.
An overwhelming majority, 77%, of Ohio voters polled wanted to see a state-level child tax credit similar to the pandemic-era credit provided on the federal level. The credit was given to households with children under the age of 17, and has been frequently brought up by anti-poverty and child welfare advocates as a significant support for families fighting job loss, housing issues and hunger during and after the pandemic.
When the federal tax credit was rescinded, advocates for the credit, and even economists in the state, said the measure should be made permanent to keep those helped by the funding from sliding back into poverty.
Policy Matters previously released an analysis of two different ways the state could lay out a child tax credit, through a flat rate credit, or an age-differentiated credit that would give more to the youngest Ohioans.
Voters overall want to see more control over how their tax dollars are spent, according to the poll. Policy Matters and Data for Progress asked voters their level of support for “participatory budgeting,” which would allow voters to be “directly involved in deciding how to spend parts of a public budget by proposing policy ideas and voting on how much money should be spent.”
In total, 70% of voters polled supported participatory budgeting in the state, compared to 18% opposed to the idea.
Likely voters also supported a “health-first” approach to public safety, in which mental health professionals would be sent before law enforcement in behavioral health crises, and a state corporate income tax, where a company would be taxed on profit made in the state.
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