The Columbus Dispatch this morning reported that another effort is under way to kill what critics call Ohio's "death tax."
The Ohio chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a national advocacy group, is leading a push for an initiated statute to repeal the estate tax, having started the process last week by filing an initial petition with more than 1,000 signatures of registered voters and the text of the proposed law for Attorney General Richard Cordray's office to certify this week.
Initially enacted in 1968 to replace a state inheritance tax, Ohio's estate tax provisions have been amended several times. Perhaps a bit oversimplified, the estates of Ohio residents and nonresidents who own real estate or tangible personal property located in Ohio or intangible personal property used in business within Ohio are subject to the tax.
Previous efforts to limit or squash Ohio's estate tax have failed, in large part because 80 percent of the tax collected goes to local communities, the Dispatch article said. The most-recent attempt to kill the tax was 2007, when then-Rep. Larry Wolpert's House Bill 4 was a priority for the Republican leadership of the House. That bill would have barred the state from collecting its share of the tax, increased the assets threshold and allowed local governments to stop imposing the tax. It received several committee hearings but stalled without a vote after Gov. Ted Strickland threatened a veto and local-government groups voiced strong opposition, Wolpert said.
Background & more information on Ohio's estate tax can be found on Wikipedia, About.com, and from the Ohio Department of Taxation.
Ohio's estate tax is Chapter 5731 of the Ohio Revised Code