U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. Photo by Graham Stokes for the Ohio Capital Journal

By Nick Evans

Ohio Capital Journal

Ohio business leaders joined Ohio Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in calling for passage of a $78 billion tax deal this week. Tax committee chairs in the House and Senate 鈥 one a Republican, the other a Democrat 鈥 agreed on the plan which expands the child tax credit as well as tax deductions for research and development.

In a call with reporters, Brown emphasized a provision ensuring East Palestine residents won鈥檛 be taxed for disaster payments they received after the Norfolk Southern train derailment there last February.

鈥淓ast Palestine people have endured enough,鈥 Brown said, 鈥淭hat money from Norfolk Southern is supposed to go toward making residents whole. They shouldn鈥檛 be hit with a tax bill for it.鈥

Linda May, who serves on East Palestine鈥檚 City Council, praised the bill鈥檚 drafters for working across party lines.

鈥淚 think that working together is how we rebuild East Palestine and move forward,鈥 she said, 鈥渁nd I think that鈥檚 how we help all working, and middle class Americans and our small businesses.鈥

The measure also aims to boosts affordable housing through the low-income housing tax credit program, and carries provisions to protect Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturers in the U.S. from being taxed twice.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, is hoping to have the package approved by the end of the month, ahead of tax filing season. But the agreement faces an uphill climb, as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have found . Meanwhile, lawmakers in the House and Senate have been putting more energy into as funding deadlines loom.

Brown described the Child Tax Credit as 鈥渙ne of the best tools we have to make parents hard work pay off,鈥 and argued that 575,000 kids in Ohio will benefit from the proposed changes. Under the deal, the maximum refundable credit will increase from $1,600 to $1,800 per child in the 2023 tax year. That ceiling will rise to $1,900 in 2024, and $2,000 in 2025.

Speaking alongside the CEO of the Ohio Chamber and the Ohio Business Roundtable, however, the conversation emphasized how the changes will impact Ohio鈥檚 businesses.

鈥淎s you look at research and development,鈥 Pat Tiberi from the Ohio Business Roundtable said, 鈥渢his domestic research and development (credit) is super important to getting our supply chain back, and that鈥檚 something that is occurring as we speak.鈥

Ohio Chamber CEO Steve Stivers praised the R&D credit as well, which allows businesses to deduct the entirety of those expenses in one tax year rather than spreading them over five. Similar changes to depreciation rules allow businesses to claim deductions for equipment.

鈥淭here are businesspeople all around this country that are suffering under the current circumstances,鈥 Stivers argued, 鈥渨hether it鈥檚 innovators that aren鈥檛 putting as much money in research and development, or small businesses that aren鈥檛 buying that new Ford F-250 for their business because they can鈥檛 expense it right now.鈥

鈥淎llowing that to be expensed immediately, as opposed to spread over five years is going to result in more investment in American innovation, which is going to grow our economy,鈥 he added.

They both emphasized the importance of increasing access to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Stivers noted there鈥檚 a shortage of about a quarter million housing units in Ohio.

鈥淭he Low Income Housing Tax Credit has real world consequences,鈥 Tiberi added. 鈥淲hether it鈥檚 in Mansfield, Ohio, or in a rural part of the community in Columbiana County. It鈥檚 important and it makes a difference for people who are looking for workforce housing or other types of housing.鈥

Both men previously served as Republicans in Congress and while they expressed optimism, they were realistic about the measure鈥檚 chances for passage.

鈥淚 think that there鈥檒l be some grassroots pressure on this,鈥 Stivers argued. 鈥淎nd I think it鈥檚 going to ultimately get done. You know, there may be some changes, and that鈥檚 the way the process works. But I feel confident that most of the stuff in this package is going to be signed into law.鈥

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