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Campaign Donation Credit Encourages Some Political Participation

E-mails have been going out for weeks from a range of candidates on next year's ballot, reminding their supporters to take advantage of an annual tax credit the state offers for political donations.

Ohio, like some other states, offers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for money given to candidates. Ohio State business law professor Donald Tobin says the credit clearly benefits some Ohioans more than others.

Tobin:  We could have a political debate about whether this is good or bad.  But I think that the people that are for it, are for it because it allows people to participate.  Now, of course, the people who may take advantage of it may be more sophisticated taxpayers who know about tax credits, were filing returns...

Tobin says the law allows for a dollar-for-dollar credit of $50 per single filer and $100 for married couple filing jointly – which Tobin says could be called a form of public financing for campaigns, since it amounts to the state subsidizing political donations for Ohioans who pay taxes. Donations to political candidates have to be done by tomorrow for the credit to be used in this tax year.