I moved to Lakewood, Ohio to begin repaying my karmic debt for living the good life in Sao Paulo, Brazil. My office was on the other side of Cleveland in Cleveland Heights. The State of Ohio charged me 3.5% income tax, while Lakewood collected 1.5%, I still had to pay an additional 2% to the city of Cleveland Heights because I worked there.

The state’s average effective property tax rate is 1.52%, placing it among the ten highest in the country. However, since it is primarily collected at the county level, that rate will vary depending on where you live. In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), for example, the effective property tax rate is 2.23%.

The statewide sales tax rate in Ohio is 5.75%, but Ohio counties collect their own sales taxes, of between 0.75% and 2.25% e.g. Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), That means the lowest rate possible is 6.5% and the highest possible rate is 8%.

Every state has an income tax except for Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. Alaska is notable in that it is the only state to repeal an existing income tax (in 1979), while all the other states on that list have always gone without one. New Hampshire and Tennessee also deserve mention, as their income taxes do not and have not ever applied to wage income, instead only taxing interest and dividend income. Connecticut originally imposed it's income tax on capital gains, interest, and dividends, and expanded its tax to wages in 1991. Ohio and Pennsylvania were the pioneers levying their tax on wages beginning in 1971.

After six miserable winters in Cleveland and having paid my karmic debt in full plus interest, I moved to Texas. Whenever, I ran into a fellow Ohioan or any recovering Yankee from the rust belt, the question, WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING FROM OHIO? always received the same response, BEING FROM OHIO.


Why do we choose being from Ohio rather than living in Ohio, especially communities like East Cleveland?

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton:  The lion's share of a city's revenue, for almost every city in Ohio, would be the income tax. The income tax is essentially the revenue that is generated from the number of working people who live in your city, and the number of people who come to your city to work within your borders each day. In 1970, the population of East Cleveland was 40,000. The number of people working was 20,000. The average household income in today's dollars was $50,000. Now, I'm going to give you that same set of numbers today. The population is 17,000, the number of people working is 5,000, and the average household income is $20,000. Just that set of numbers tells the story.

Top Ten of the Thirty States that lost population

1-New York (-153,921)

2-Illinois (-94,956)

3-New Jersey (-55,469)

4-California (-32,090)

5-Pennsylvania (-31,448)

6-Michigan (-28,679)

7-Connecticut (-26,216)

8-Virginia (-20,400)

9-Ohio (-18,243)

10-Massachusetts (-16,354)

The Top Ten Winners: "The Great Economic Migration"

1-Texas (154,467) No Income Tax & Jobs

2-Florida (138,546) No Income Tax & Jobs

3-Arizona (41,975) It's cheaper than California

4-Colorado (40,318) Legalized marijuana

5-South Carolina (38,614) Jobs

6-North Carolina (36,257) Jobs

7-Washington (28,063) Jobs

8-Tennessee (24,511) Jobs

9-Nevada (23,623) Jobs

10-Oregon (22,670) It's cheaper than California + no sales tax

It's East Cleveland all over again - make busted communities Free Enterprise Zones, no income tax + no sales tax. If I lived and worked in East Cleveland I would save 7% on income and I could sell anything to the surrounding communities e.g. Cleveland Heights, looking to save 8% one every purchase, like the folks in southern Washington State cross the border to zero sales tax Oregon.


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