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Budget clears the Ohio legislature

The legislature put its final seal of approval on the state’s biennium budget this week, voting the bill out of both chambers. The details of the $62 billion spending plan will now be reviewed by Governor John Kasich who may exercise line item veto authority on the measure.

The conference committee members did not reduce the Commercial Activity Tax annual exclusion amount from $1 million to $500,000, as previously announced. Instead, the 0.26 percent tax rate for receipts more than $1 million stays intact and the following new minimum tax payments were established:

  • $800 for businesses with receipts from $1 million to $2 million
  • $2,100 for businesses with receipts between $2 million and $4 million
  • $2,600 for receipts of more than $4 million

The budget includes a 10 percent phased-in income tax cut over the next three years and allows small businesses to realize a 50 percent cut on the first $250,000 of net business income. The budget contains a $717 million increase in spending on primary and secondary education and imposes a two percent cap on tuition increases at public universities.

“This budget is all about increasing opportunity, growing our economy and making sure that all Ohioans are able to find work,” said Finance Chairman Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton).

The legislature is not expected to reconvene until this fall. The governor must make any vetos and sign the bill into law by June 30, 2013.

Legislation approved this week

The following bills are among those approved this week.

Enterprise zones: Sponsored by Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City), Senate Bill 112 will extend the authority of municipal corporations and counties to enter into enterprise zone agreements with businesses until October 15, 2015. The bill passed the House on June 25, 2013.

Vehicle air bags: Sponsored by Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), House Bill 177 prohibits the manufacture, import or sale of a counterfeit or nonfunctional motor vehicle that inaccurately indicates that the vehicle is equipped with a functional air bag, and increases the penalty for improper replacement of a motor vehicle air bag if the violation results in the bodily injury or death of an individual. The bill passed the House on June 25, 2013.

Water safety inspections: Sponsored by Representative Rex Damschroder (R-Fremont), House Bill 29 exempts a person holding certain Coast Guard endorsements from the requirement to complete a safe boater course or examination. The bill passed the Senate on June 26, 2013.

Board of Tax Appeals: Sponsored by Representatives Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) and Tom Letson (D-Warren), House Bill 138 makes changes to the law governing the Board of Tax Appeals. The bill passed the Senate on June 26, 2013.

The following are among the provisions included in the bill:

  • Authorizes a small claims division within the board
  • Requires the board to institute measures to manage certain appeals
  • Provides the board authority to grant summary judgments and consider motions—vesting hearing examiners with the authority to determine credibility of witnesses and issue statements of fact and conclusions of law separately
  • Authorizes the board to require parties to engage in mediation
  • Authorizes the tax commissioner to expedite and issue a final determination for residential property value appeals with written consent of the parties

Traffic cameras: Sponsored by Representative Ron Maag (R-Lebanon), House Bill 69 will prohibit the use of traffic law photo-monitoring devices by municipal corporations, counties, townships, and the State Highway Patrol to detect signal light and speed limit violations. The bill passed the House on June 26, 2013.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Caputo
(non-attorney professional)
216.348.5770
mcaputo@mcdonaldhopkins.com

Rebecca M. Kuhns
(non-attorney professional)
614.458.0043
rkuhns@mcdonaldhopkins.com

Government affairs work is so much more than networking with government officials. It requires a strategic plan drafted by specialists who understand economic development and legislative issues. We help identify ways the government can contribute a solution to a business challenge, such as complying with regulatory and legislative mandates, securing funding for an important project, or obtaining government contracts. Our Government Affairs team has an impressive background. They work together to listen to clients, assess opportunities and recommend how government might contribute to achieving the goal.

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