State Rep. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) whose 81st District includes Putnam County, speaks before the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce this past Friday - Putnam Sentinel
State Rep. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) whose 81st District includes Putnam County, speaks before the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce this past Friday. (Putnam Sentinel/Martin Verni)

OTTAWA — During a breakfast meeting held by the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce at Henry’s Restaurant last Friday morning, State Rep. Jim Hoops offered an overview of some the recent legislative action taking place in Columbus.

From Mr. Hoops’ perspective, the job of the legislature in crafting the state’s budget is primarily to, “Educate, medicate, and incarcerate.” Noting that about 75% of the budget deals with education funding, Medicaid and other healthcare issues, and the legal system, primarily incarceration. “That’s basically the budget right there,” he said.

Even with seeking to meet these important needs for the state, Mr. Hoops emphasized the legislature’s ability to cut taxes. “One of the things that I think makes Ohio uncompetitive is our income tax,” he said. “So, we were able to, across the board, put through a 4% decrease in income tax rates.”

Mr. Hoops also praised his colleagues in the Senate for putting back into the budget a provision the House had stripped out granting business owners a 100% deduction in business income tax for the first $250,000 in revenue. Mr. Hoops also emphasized that this tax provision does not apply to registered lobbyist and attorneys. All said, “We did about over $630 million in tax cuts in the budget,” concluded Mr. Hoops.

Following an overview on how he and his colleagues had cut taxes, Mr. Hoops then went on discuss one way in which they had raised them. A manner that is undoubtedly good news to any local retailer.

“If a company comes-in, and does over $100,000 in [online] business, they then have to start reporting that sales tax,” he said. Previously, companies like Amazon.com did not pay sales tax in the State of Ohio. This created a competitive disadvantage for traditional retailers and other businesses.