Government does not create jobs, but what it can create is an economic environment that encourages job creation and business growth. The first bill to be introduced in the Ohio House after I became a member in 2011 created “JobsOhio,” a private, not-for-profit entity that would largely handle economic development efforts in the state.
Ohio’s economy has made a great deal of progress since that time, and, according to JobsOhio, today has one of the top five business climates in the nation. This is where creating the right economic conditions comes into play. By reducing the tax burden on the people who wish to start their own businesses and create jobs, we are able to put more people back to work, lift people up and off of government assistance and reap the rewards of more goods and services. As a result, Ohioans have created more than 350,000 jobs in the past four years and more businesses were jump-started in Ohio last year than in any other year of the state’s history.
One thing that can never be overlooked is the freedom of all 50 states to enact its own policies in order to do what is best for those particular residents. This also produces competition between states to create favorable conditions for strong families and businesses. Therefore, we must not only pay attention to what is happening in Ohio, but also what is happening across the country and particularly in neighboring states.
Among the factors small business owners look at when deciding where and whether to set up shop is the tax burden that they will have to contend with. That is why I am proud to see that Ohio has the third-lowest tax burden for businesses that have been started within the last three years. That means that upstart businesses are welcomed in our state, rather than being crushed by a heavy tax code. Ohio’s third-place ranking far and away outpaces all of our neighboring states.
In addition, the economic magazine Business Insider recently released its list for “The best and worst states for making a living in 2015.” The magazine ranked Ohio ninth on the list for best states to make a living, after factoring things like cost of living, average income, state taxes and unemployment rate.
Of course, the work always goes on in Ohio as we pursue policies to continue our state’s momentum. But the progress we have seen over the last handful of years is a promising indicator of where our state is headed and shows the rest of the country that Ohio is serious about producing the right conditions for creating and filling jobs.
Cliff Rosenberger of the 91st House District is the Ohio House Speaker.