Richard Levin, Ohio’s top revenue official, continues to cheerlead for the state’s broken taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. system, as covered by the Urbana Daily Citizen, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette, and the Akron Beacon Journal. Levin’s pronouncement late last month that Ohio is not a high-tax state would normally be dismissed as an April Fool’s Day joke, but he tries to add weight to his claim by citing a report by the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA).
Levin says the numbers show that Ohio has a middle-of-the-road tax burden, but this conclusion is based upon misuse of data provided by organizations like the FTA whose own data sources warn against their flawed methodology.
The reality is that all reliable evidence tells Ohioans that they’re more heavily taxed at the state-local level than the residents of most states. In 2008 their state and local tax burden was 18th highest on a per capita basis and 7th as a percentage of income. The state ranks very poorly on our State Business Tax Climate Index. Levin and his supporters may want to believe that Ohio is America’s best kept secret for low taxes, but it ain’t so.
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