FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Rieman
614.764.2727, ext. 331 (office)
(COLUMBUS, June 18, 2012) – The House Ways and Means Committee held the second of a series of important hearings Wednesday to explore the impact of Ohio’s municipal income tax structure on Ohio businesses. The Committee, chaired by Rep. Peter Beck (R-Mason), heard testimonies from 15 business professionals including members representing the Municipal Tax Reform Coalition.
The goal of the Coalition is to attain a single, uniform municipal income tax code that all Ohio municipalities assessing a tax on businesses and/or individuals would follow.
Coalition members from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, NFIB/OH, Associated General Contractors of Ohio, Ohio Contractors Association, Ohio State Bar Association and the Greater Ohio Policy Center described industry-specific problems related to Ohio’s current municipal income tax structure, and drove home the need for uniformity.
Tia Ramlow, the owner of a staffing firm in Akron and representing the Ohio Small Business Council, an affiliate of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, outlined the “huge liability” and “significant cost” Ohio’s municipal income tax creates for her small business.
Also discussed were implications to Ohio’s growing oil and gas industry. Steven Franckhauser, JD, director, HBK Energy pointed out the benefits of Pennsylvania’s recent transformation of a portion of law applicable to municipal taxes.
“Change is happening in the state of Ohio and the reality is that government and municipalities need to change with it to allow this industry, specifically oil and gas, to grow,” said Franckhauser.
CPA and small business owner Albert Macre of Steubenville, said the system is particularly burdensome for small contractors, a statement echoed by Andrea Ashley of Associated General Contractors of Ohio and Ohio Contractors Association. One challenge they routinely face is different definitions of taxable income as well as having to file numerous returns and remit tax based on doing business in various municipalities for short time periods.
“One client has, since 1996, repeatedly received notices for failure to file because his company did business in a particular city for one week only,” said Macre.
Rep. Beck stressed that hearings will continue throughout the summer. Beck is among legislators including Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City), Rep. Michael Henne (R-Clayton) and Rep. John Barnes Jr. (D-Cleveland) who are working with the Municipal Tax Reform Coalition to explore changes to Ohio’s current structure.
“The top message is that simplicity and consistency is good. If businesses know what environment they are going to operate in, if they understand the tax structure and know it’s not different in every city in Ohio, it will be easier to do business,” said Macre. More information on the Coalition.
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