Last updated: August 24. 2013 4:15PM - 32 Views

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Given all the data, how many people do you suppose you’d put into an Ohio Tax Hall of Fame? We have report upon report saying Ohio is not a tax-friendly state. We have data showing Ohio is near the top in unemployment and foreclosures, but near the bottom in jobs creation.So, imagine our surprise to learn 1) there really is something called the Ohio Tax Hall of Fame, 2) the Ohio Chamber of Commerce plays a role in selecting inductees and 3) eight people have received induction since the hall’s 2001 conception.We kid you not.The Ohio Department of Taxation announced last week that a career employee of the department who died in 2002 was inducted into the Ohio Tax Hall of Fame. The honor came during the 17th annual Ohio Tax Conference last Tuesday. Selection is based on “outstanding contributions to the development, administration or operation of Ohio’s state tax system,” the department said in its news release. The Ohio tax commissioner and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce make selections to the Ohio Tax Hall of Fame.Those in government, of course, see their role as taxers as vital to everyone’s well being, so the Ohio Department of Taxation wanting to honor those who help take your money in the most efficient way shouldn’t surprise anyone. But, a business advocacy group actually taking part in honoring anyone involved with this state’s tax environment strikes us as more than just a little bit funny.It gets tiresome repeating information such as  what follows, but it does seem the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and certainly the Ohio Department of Taxation missed it. So we’ll point out just a few of Ohio’s tax problem once again.The nonpartisan, educational Tax Foundation, for example, last April reported Ohio had the fifth-highest local and state tax burden. Since 2001, when the Ohio Tax Hall of Fame started, Ohio’s been as low as 10th highest — once. Ohio had the eighth-highest local and state tax burden back in 2001, but government intrusion into your wallet has moved to fifth highest in the nation, and they’re still putting people into a hall of fame?Ohio had the 49th best state business climate last year, again according to the Tax Foundation. We’ve moved up to 46th this year. The National Federation of Independent Business, an advocacy group for small businesses, also ranks Ohio’s business climate as poor. Roger R. Geiger, executive vice president/Ohio executive director, blames the number of local taxing bodies. Apparently, it requires a lot of villages, cities and other local taxing bodies to get up to as much as $11.7 billion for the state to oversee.Ohio has begun to address the tax issue, and Gov. Ted Strickland has indicated he doesn’t intend to give up on the five-year, 21 percent income tax cut that began in 2005, even in the face of at least a $733 million budget shortfall next year. That’s the sort of performance that should be recognized, although any state with a Tax Hall of Fame is bound to get its priorities confused.

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