Proposed Ohio bill will cancel state taxes for college students

Kiara Rodriguez, Reporter

A proposed bill targeted toward college students plans to provide scholarships and tax cuts for graduates. The Graduating and Retaining Ohio’s Workforce Act aims to incentivize young graduates for staying in Ohio post-graduation.

The bill, written by Hardin County Rep. Jon Cross, includes several solutions to the workforce problem and is expected to pass within the next year. This comes after Ohio lost a congressional seat last year due to stagnant population growth.

The bill proposes solutions to fix Ohio’s population problem through four main strategies.

The first solution, a 30 percent tax credit for business that provide paid internships, is meant to create an influx of paid internship opportunities for students.

Rep. Jon Cross (Courtesy of Rep. Jon Cross)

“We hope businesses will take that money and continue to invest into more internship opportunities,” Cross said. “We hope that leads to a job because we believe when a student graduates from college, whether it’s undergraduate or professional school, and they take a job here in Ohio, we have a greater chance of keeping them.”

The second key point in the bill is incentivizing people with two-year degrees to finish their education without financial worries.

“Students that go to community college and get a two-year degree have an opportunity to apply for additional funding and the Ohio college opportunity grant… And they could go on to get their four-year degree,” Cross said.

The third solution is a financial aid package specifically for out-of-state students who meet certain qualifications. High school students who are in the top 5 percent of their class and plan to pursue a degree in STEM can apply for up to $25,000 in financial aid. The loans would be 100 percent forgivable after graduation.

The final solution is the inclusion of tax cuts for students post-graduation. Cross is prepared to offer 100 percent refundable state income tax to students if they take a job in-state when they graduate college.

“It was something that I wanted to do because I know that we don’t have a lot of things to help with retention and attraction of workforce,” Cross said.

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