Tax Reform is Increasing Optimism for Families and Businesses in the Miami Valley

By Rob Portman

Just two months since becoming law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already creating a better economy and a brighter future for families in the Miami Valley—and businesses across Ohio.

According to a recent National Federation of Independent Business survey, a record number of business owners said now was a good time to expand. The new tax law, the report says, “produced the most recent boost to small-business optimism.”

I’ve seen this firsthand. I recently met with employees at Bruns General Contracting, a small employee-owned business in Tipp City, as it announced plans to purchase new and more productive equipment, hire more workers, take on new jobs, and increase retirement benefits as a result of the savings from the new law.

I’ve also visited small businesses in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and more that have reinvested in their operations, their employees, or both with the savings from tax reform.

Across the state, larger businesses are responding positively as well. Nationwide, JPMorgan Chase, Fifth Third Bank, Western & Southern Financial Group, and Walmart, Ohio’s largest employer, are some of the businesses that have announced bonuses, higher wages, increased hiring, or better benefits as result of the new law.

This was all made possible by lowering our business tax rate to be more competitive, reforming our international tax code to encourage the return of overseas jobs and investments, and creating incentives like immediate expensing that encourage businesses to reinvest in American operations and workers.

Business optimism is growing, and workers are seeing the benefits with more than four million employees already getting tax reform bonuses or pay increases.

Ohioans are also seeing the direct benefits of tax cuts in their paychecks. Last month, the IRS updated its withholding tables for employee paychecks. Ninety percent of Americans, and all middle-class income groups, are getting a tax cut. Starting this month, the proof is in the paycheck.

Tax reform, including lower tax rates and doubling the standard deduction and child tax credit, will take more than three million Americans who had federal income tax liability off the tax rolls altogether. A family of four at the median income level can expect to save $2,000 a year on their taxes. For families in Greene County—and across Ohio—that makes a real difference.

We also preserved tax incentives that spur economic development in the Miami Valley. The Historic Tax Credit helped leverage private funds for the Wheelhouse Lofts, Cannery Lofts, and others in the Dayton area, and the New Markets Tax Credit provided CityWide Development Corporation with $40 million in federal tax credits to spur local economic development. I see their benefits every time I’m in the Miami Valley.

These tax incentives, and incentives to help make college more affordable for middle-class families, were threatened in earlier versions of the tax reform bill, but we fought to have them included in the final bill.

The new tax law is already having a positive impact on Ohio and Greene County. It gives direct tax relief to middle-class families, raises wages, provides benefits for workers, and increases investments in American companies. Through all that, it is bringing back hope and optimism for many Ohio families.

By Rob Portman

Senator Rob Portman represents Ohio in the Senate and is a guest columnist.

Senator Rob Portman represents Ohio in the Senate and is a guest columnist.