AP NEWS

Analyst: income tax limits plan could harm Ohio bond rating

February 12, 2020 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A fiscal analyst has warned lawmakers that a proposal to make it harder to raise the state income tax could harm Ohio’s bond rating.

At issue is a proposed constitutional amendment that would impose a supermajority requirement in both chambers for the General Assembly to raise such taxes.

States with similar supermajority requirements have seen their credit ratings lowered, Zach Schiller, research director at the nonpartisan organization Ohio Policy Matters, told the Senate Ways and Means Committee Tuesday, according to Gongwer News Service.

“It would constrain the state’s ability to fund critical programs, limit policymakers’ options during recessions and undermine the democratic process,” Schiller said.

Lower bond ratings can affect the rates at which governments can borrow money, among other things. Gongwer reported that no one testified at a hearing set aside last week for supporters of the supermajority, but GOP Senate President Larry Obhof remains a supporter.

“I think it should be difficult for government to reach deeper into your pocket,” Obhof said.