In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, Ohio collected $48.4 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Ohio taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.
As shown in Chart 1 below, Ohio’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by personal income) was the eighteenth highest in the nation for FY 2013 at 10.3 percent—this is right at the national average of 10.3 percent. As shown in Chart 2, Ohio’s tax burden has grown over time by 60 percent to 10.3 percent in FY 2013 from 6.4 percent in FY 1950.
Being near the national average, Ohio’s tax burden by type of tax is generally unremarkable. Interestingly, Ohio has a rather schizophrenic income tax having a high individual income tax burden (2.9 percent, 12th highest), but a low corporate income tax burden (0.11 percent, 45th highest).
Of course, the tax burdens for local government can vary just as much as they do among the 50 states. As such, we have also calculated the local government tax burden for every county in Ohio—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself.
The Ohio counties with the highest local government tax burden include: Franklin County, OH (6.3 percent), Cuyahoga County, OH (5.9 percent), and Montgomery County, OH (5 percent). The Ohio counties with the lowest local government tax burden include: Lawrence County, OH (1.9 percent), Vinton County, OH (2.2 percent), and Meigs County, OH (2.2 percent).
J. Scott Moody has nearly 20 years experience as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as the American Conservative Union Foundation, Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.