Lawmakers Putting Final Touches On State Budget

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An Ohio legislative panel is working to put the finishing touches on the state budget.

A six-member conference committee planned to vote Tuesday on proposed changes to the bill.

Majority Republican leaders have already announced a tax package expected to be included in the measure. It contains a gradual income tax reduction over three years, beginning with an 8.5-percent cut in the first year.

The income tax cut would be paid for in part by an increase in the state sales tax, which would go from 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent.

The tax proposal also calls for a tax break targeted at small businesses. Individuals could write off 50 percent of their first $250,000 in business income annually.

Lawmakers face a Sunday deadline to pass the two-year spending bill.