College Bound: Taxes and Tuition in Ohio

August 3rd, 2005
   

Higher education can improve individual and collective well-being. Workers with a bachelor’s degree have much higher wages, lower rates of unemployment, higher labor force participation and higher lifelong earnings than those without such degrees. Yet Ohio ranks 49th in affordability of college, 46th in state operating appropriations per student for higher education, 37th in level of increase in higher education spending among the states between 2000 and 2005, and 40th in the nation in terms of percent of people over age 25 with a four-year bachelor’s degree.

The income tax cuts enacted as part of Ohio’s biennial budget for 2006-07 will cost the state billions of dollars – $3.645 billion by 2009 and $5.670 billion by 2010 – some of which could have been used to make college education more affordable. For middle-income Ohio families, modest income tax reductions may not compensate for increased costs incurred because public funding for critical services declines. College Bound examines trends in higher education spending and compares tax savings to costs for families with college-age children.

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