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Tax cuts could help county

While Gov. John Kasich’s state budget won’t be revealed until next week, he has already given a glimpse at some of his proposals that, if adopted, could greatly impact Lawrence County.

In one of the key components of his budget, Kasich proposed to eliminate nearly all income taxes paid by small business — those businesses with an annual gross of $2 million or less.

It’s an effort meant to stimulate job creation, thus improving the economy. It is estimated that 1 million small businesses in the state would save about $358 million in taxes, which could allow them to hire more employees or invest in other areas.

Another proposed measure would increase personal income-tax exemptions for Ohioans making $80,000 or less per year. That would mean people making $40,000 a year or less would see their exemption nearly double.

It’s estimated that the tax savings would total $372 million over two years.

If adopted, both of those proposals could significantly impact Lawrence County, where the majority of its businesses and residents fall into those brackets.

Parts of Lawrence County have seen some economic improvement in the past few years — The Point industrial park in South Point, Ironton’s Gateway Project and the Wyngate senior living center in Rome Township — but many small businesses continue to struggle or close their doors before success can be realized.

These proposed tax initiatives could be just what Lawrence County needs to ignite another economic upswing.

It is important to note, however, that it is still unknown how Kasich plans to make up the taxes that would not funnel into state coffers if those proposals are adopted. Ohioans will have to wait for the full budget to be revealed next week.