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Comparison shows Ohio’s state income tax “a bargain” in the region

You might not think so at tax time, but Ohio’s state income tax is actually “a bargain” in comparison to other states regionally.

In advance of Tuesday’s tax filing deadline, cleveland.com ran a series of basic income and family-size scenarios through the tax forms for Ohio and its five neighboring states – Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan.

In nearly every case, the tax bill for Ohio was lowest. When Ohio wasn’t the lowest, it was near the bottom.

For example, a family of four making $100,000 last year would have an estimated tax bill of $2,608 in Ohio, far below the the high of $5,148 for Kentucky.

In each case, no special deductions were factored in because they can vary so much from one taxpayer to another. For the families, it was assumed that both spouses work and earn an equal amount of money.

One of the key differences between state income taxes regionally is that Ohio has a sliding tax rate table, starting at 0.495 percent for the first $5,250 of taxable income and gradually increasing to 4.997 percent at $210,600.

Ohioans with income above $210,600 do not pay an overall rate of 4.997; that rate applies only for the portion of income above that amount.

Three neighboring states have flat tax rates for taxable income – Pennsylvania (3.07 percent), Indiana (3.3 percent) and Michigan (4.25 percent). And in Kentucky there is little change in the rates – 5.8 percent for most taxable income up to $75,000 and 6 percent above that amount.

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