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TAX NEWS - June 2010

Ohio Tax: Governor wants to change gambling tax deductions

Gov. Ted Strickland signed legislation last week creating the Ohio Casino Control Commission but blasted a provision in the bill allowing bettors to write off gambling losses on their taxes as "fiscally irresponsible and misguided."

The legislature passed the bill June 4 as required after voters approved a constitutional amendment last fall allowing casinos in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo.

Strickland said that if he had the authority, he would have vetoed the provision allowing gamblers to deduct betting losses from income taxed by the state -- both in Ohio and out of state.

The Ohio Department of Taxation has said that provision would reduce state revenue by an estimated $30 million to $40 million per year starting in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013.

"This new tax deduction represents a policy shift for the state of Ohio, which has never before used its income-tax laws to subsidize losses incurred from gambling," Strickland said in a statement. "At a time of economic challenge, it is deeply irresponsible to deprive our state of needed resources that could be used to help meet the many needs which exist within our communities."

Supporters of the provision have said the state will tax casino winnings as income and therefore should allow gamblers to deduct their losses.
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