State Rep. Cheryl Grossman, R-Grove City, received OSCPA’s Outstanding Legislator Award on June 28 for her work on municipal income tax uniformity, efforts to eliminate Ohio’s estate tax and other approaches to improve our state for businesses and residents.
Grossman received the award at OSCPA’s Thought Leader Forum, a day-long event for CPA leaders from public practice, industry, education and government.
OSCPA’s Outstanding Legislator Award is given periodically by OSCPA’s Executive Board to legislators who have championed significant initiatives to promote issues of key importance to OSCPA and its members.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have received that honor for the work we’ve done on behalf of the state,” Grossman said. “I am so proud to be working with such an outstanding group of individuals to improve the economy of the State of Ohio.”
In addition to Grossman’s update on key tax initatives, Linda Woggon, vice president, governmental affairs at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce discussed Ohio’s growing oil and gas industry, which has been spurred by the development of horizontal drilling into the layer of Utica shale that lies under most of the state.
Woggon addressed the significant opportunities that the new industry is creating, as well as concerns some environmentalists have raised over the safety of hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – which is the practice of injecting fluid into a well to break up rock and release valuable minerals after drilling.
“The real key from an environmental perspective is that the well is constructed correctly,” Woggon said. “We probably have the most protective and effective regulations in the country.”
Daryl Revoldt, manager, government relations at JobsOhio, explained how his organization’s focus on speed will help it to spur business development.
JobsOhio, which was signed into law last year, created a public/private entity which centralizes economic development efforts for the state. It is funded through Ohio’s liquor sales via the Ohio Jobs Budget. Identified as a top priority by the Kasich Administration, OSCPA testified multiple times and lobbied behind the scenes on behalf of the plan.
Revoldt said JobsOhio has already developed the connections and is using sophisticated new software to “compress the start-to-finish cycle” when a company expresses an interest in doing business in Ohio.
“We can respond to business queries in almost real time,” Revoldt said. “When someone has a question about where we are in the decision-making process, we can have an answer within a few clicks.”
Also at the forum, Neil Clark of Grant Street Consultants predicted “tough sledding for incumbents” in the November election, and said a proposed state constitutional amendment that would create a Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission would be huge.
“(Redistricting) is the biggest issue that will be confronted in this state... forever,” Clark said, “because it will change Republican domination overnight.”