Defending the taxpayer, growing the economy

By State Rep. Jim Buchy - Contributing columnist

In western Ohio we have been fortunate to have excellent job creators who invest heavily in the local communities. Their ingenuity and fiscal responsibility has created jobs across the entire region. However, in some areas of Ohio, it can be difficult for businesses to obtain the capital needed to expand. Providing more options is important while continuing to ensure sound money management for taxpayers.

The Rural Jobs Act attempts to solve this problem. This bill seeks to unite the government and the private sector to invest in job creation across the state. The purpose of the bill is to entice private sector investors to take on projects in rural areas.

If enacted the Rural Jobs Act would expend $45 million dollars in tax revenue to entice capital management companies to focus their efforts on rural areas. The tax break would go to insurance companies in exchange for their investment in rural businesses. The proponents of this measure say the $45 million in tax credits would generate an additional $25 million in private sector investment.

In this situation the taxpayers have the most to lose in high risk investments. At the heart of this proposal is a conservative principle that the private sector is better suited to lead economic development efforts than the public sector. I agree that government does not and should not create jobs.

The companies lobbying for the rural jobs act have seen a number of bills enacted in other states over the past two decades. In many circumstances the private sector companies have experienced controversy in those states because their success rate has been questionable. I am working with all the interested parties to ensure Ohio does not become another example of these companies’ struggles.

As a legislator, there are a number of changes that can be made to this bill to encourage private sector investment in our rural industries to ensure the taxpayer is the winner. Rushing legislation with a substantial impact through the legislative process would be a mistake. There are a number of entities that want to help Ohio grow our economy, and ensuring we can establish strong and lasting partnerships should be the focus of our efforts.

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By State Rep. Jim Buchy

Contributing columnist

The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.

The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.