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Letter to the Editor - Reducing income tax favors wealthy

Published in the Columbus Dispatch on July 7, 2013

The front page Sunday Dispatch article entitled “Income tax a real divide for parties” fairly described the differences in the parties regarding income taxes in Ohio.  Republicans argue that the income tax is a disincentive to working hard and decreases the job creation that we need, while Democrats view the income tax as a method of taxation that provides fairness over other methods, such as the sales tax.  The state budget just passed reduces income taxes by the same percentage for all and increases sales taxes.

First, I question the assumption that the income tax is a disincentive to work hard.  How many people will turn down a raise or the chance for a better paying job because they will have to pay higher income tax on that increased income?  NONE.  How about job creation.  How many employers base their hiring decisions on income or other taxes?  Maybe a few.  Most hiring decisions are made, however, because more people are needed to provide the parts or services that are the company’s business.  If more people are needed, they will be hired.  An employer who does not hire more people due to a small tax if he can make more money with the additional employees is a stupid employer.

On the other hand, the poor and middle class will have to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes with a sales tax than a wealthy person will.  The income tax reduction will benefit the wealthy greatly and will not help the state economically and the sales tax increase will hurt the poor and middle class, who are the driving forces of the economy, because they spend most of their income.  The Republicans in the Ohio legislature have done the wrong thing for the state of Ohio, but they certainly have helped themselves to retain more money.  Congratulations.

John Lytle



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