Ohio has the Seventeenth Highest State and Local Tax Burden in the Nation for FY 2016

Mar 27, 2018

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In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, Ohio collected $52.2 billion in state and local taxes—or $4,495 for every man, woman, and child. 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?


To better answer this question, this analysis will calculate Ohio’s tax burden relative to the private sector. Ultimately, it is the private sector that creates new wealth and income. A high tax burden means a state is hobbling its private sector relative to other states and reducing their long-run economic growth potential.



Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2016


Unfortunately for taxpayers, as shown in Chart 1, Ohio’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by private sector personal income) was the seventeenth highest in the nation for FY 2016 at 14.8 percent—or 4 percent above the national average of 14.3 percent.


Chart 1 Ohio State and Local Tax Burden FY 2016.jpg


#Ohio state and local #taxburden in FY 2016 was the 17th highest in the nation at 14.8%— 4% above US average of 14.3% @keypolicydata #OHpol #OHleg #OHsen #OHgov #PolicyData (click to tweet)


As shown in Chart 2, Ohio’s tax burden has increased over time by 99 percent to 14.8 percent in FY 2016 from 7.4 percent in FY 1950.


Chart 2 Ohio State and Local Tax Burden by Type of Tax FY 1950 to 2016.JPG


#Ohio state and local #taxburden has increased 99% between FY 1950 (7.4%) to 2016 (14.8%) @keypolicydata #OHpol #OHleg #OHsen #OHgov #PolicyData (click to tweet)


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2016



As shown in Chart 3, Ohio’s 14.8 percent tax burden is greater than the healthcare and social assistance (13.9 percent) industry.


Chart 3 Ohio State and Local Tax Burden vs. Major Industry FY 2016.JPG


#Ohio state and local #taxburden > healthcare @keypolicydata #OHpol #OHleg #OHsen #OHgov #PolicyData (click to tweet)


Ohio’s higher than average state and local tax burden is driven by a significant individual income tax burden (3.7 percent, 18th highest), and sales tax burden (4.1 percent, 13th highest) which more than offsets the other lower taxes such as the corporate income tax burden (0.1 percent, 5th lowest).


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 20 Ohio counties with the highest local government tax burden include:


  • Athens County, OH (9.9 percent)
  • Cuyahoga County, OH (9.5 percent)
  • Franklin County, OH (9.3 percent)
  • Greene County, OH (9.1 percent)
  • Monroe County, OH (8.4 percent)
  • Montgomery County, OH (8.0 percent)
  • Fayette County, OH (7.9 percent)
  • Noble County, OH (7.7 percent)
  • Lucas County, OH (7.4 percent)
  • Adams County, OH (7.2 percent)
  • Lake County, OH (7.1 percent)
  • Richland County, OH (6.9 percent)
  • Henry County, OH (6.9 percent)
  • Summit County, OH (6.9 percent)
  • Hamilton County, OH (6.9 percent)
  • Gallia County, OH (6.7 percent)
  • Erie County, OH (6.7 percent)
  • Wood County, OH (6.6 percent)
  • Ross County, OH (6.5 percent)
  • Madison County, OH (6.4 percent)


The 20 Ohio counties with the lowest local government tax burden include:


  • Columbiana County, OH (4.6 percent)
  • Morrow County, OH (4.5 percent)
  • Medina County, OH (4.5 percent)
  • Putnam County, OH (4.5 percent)
  • Warren County, OH (4.5 percent)
  • Harrison County, OH (4.4 percent)
  • Brown County, OH (4.4 percent)
  • Belmont County, OH (4.4 percent)
  • Morgan County, OH (4.3 percent)
  • Geauga County, OH (4.2 percent)
  • Jackson County, OH (4.1 percent)
  • Perry County, OH (4.0 percent)
  • Meigs County, OH (4.0 percent)
  • Vinton County, OH (3.9 percent)
  • Delaware County, OH (3.8 percent)
  • Clermont County, OH (3.7 percent)
  • Hancock County, OH (3.5 percent)
  • Lawrence County, OH (3.4 percent)
  • Carroll County, OH (3.1 percent)
  • Holmes County, OH (2.9 percent)


Chart 4 Ohio Local Tax Burden by County FY 2016.JPG


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2016


Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of state and local tax burdens over the last 66 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?





Category: Tax Burdens

J. Scott Moody

Scott has nearly 20 years of experience as a public policy economist. He is the author, co-author and editor of over 180 studies and books. His professional experience also includes positions at the American Conservative Union Foundation, Granite Institute, Federalism In Action, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Tax Foundation, and Heritage Foundation.

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