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State Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Powell) testified on Tuesday in support of his bill to repeal the Ohio estate tax.

Jordan is the sponsor of SB90, which would eliminate the estate tax, levied at a rate of up to 7 percent of estates worth more than $338,000 at the time of the owner’s death. The repeal would be retroactive to the beginning of this year.

Jordan said in a written news release that the estate tax hurts the middle class, senior citizens and farmers.

“Agriculture has long been a way of life in our state, and this tax robs our farmers of the capital necessary to continue that tradition. This same negative impact is also felt by small businesses throughout Ohio. TO me, it’s unconscionable to continue to have at ax on the books that generates less than 1 percent of state’s revenues and forces businesses to take their jobs to other states,” Jordan said.

Repealing the estate tax will remove an incentive for people to leave the state before their death, taking their money with them, supporters argue.

About 30 states don’t have an estate tax or inheritance tax, including California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and West Virginia. Ohio’s estate tax has been on the books since 1968.

Delaware County’s other state legislator, State Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) is a co-sponsor of a house version of a bill that would repeal the estate tax.

Professional associations representing Ohio’s cities and townships oppose the proposal. They say it will hurt citizens through the reduction of government services.

Eighty percent of estate tax collections go to local governments. Townships, villages and cities in Delaware County received $29.5 million from estate tax collections between 1999 and 2009, a Gazette analysis of state tax data found.atobias@delgazette.com

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