Legislators were busy this week, passing high volumes of legislation they hope to finalize in the next two weeks. Below is a sampling of the bills that saw activity this week.
Municipal tax uniformity
Sponsored by Reps. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) and Mike Henne (R-Clayton), House Bill 5 revises the laws governing income taxes imposed by municipal corporations. Among the more contentious provisions included, the bill requires municipal corporations to allow businesses to deduct new net operating losses and allow a five-year carryforward of such losses. Additionally, the legislation modifies the “casual” entrant exemption to increase the number of days from 12 to 20 per year that an individual may work in a municipal corporation without incurring income tax liability there. The bill passed the Ohio Senate on Dec. 3.
Sponsored by Sen. Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati), Senate Bill 116 would allow municipal corporations and townships with a population of more than 35,000 to create municipal entertainment districts, and exempt persons within such districts from the open container law. The bill passed the Ohio Senate on Dec. 2.
Sponsored by Reps. Barbara Sears (R-Sylvania) and Representative Ross McGregor (R-Springfield), House Bill 468 makes a number of changes to Ohio's Motor Vehicle Salvage Law. A "salvage motor vehicle" means any motor vehicle that is in a wrecked, dismantled, or worn out condition, or unfit for operation as a motor vehicle. Among the changes included to the salvage law, the bill would broaden the types of licenses that authorize a person to sell salvage motor vehicles. The bill passed the Ohio Senate on Dec. 4.
Sponsored by Sen. Jim Hughes (R-Columbus), Senate Bill 274 would authorize towing companies to obtain title to vehicles that have a value of less than $3,500 that are removed from private tow-away zones that remain unclaimed for 60 days after initial notice is provided. The bill passed the Ohio Senate on Dec. 4.
Sponsored by Sen. Bill Coley (R-Liberty Twp.), Senate Bill 378 would give the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) jurisdiction to enforce Ohio’s underground-utility-damage-prevention law, in conjunction with a 17-member Underground Technical Committee. Additionally, the bill permits a person with certain duties and obligations who is directly involved with or impacted by a failure to comply with certain requirements of the law to request an inquiry with the PUCO. The bill passed the Ohio Senate on December 4.
Sponsored by Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), House Bill 480 would repeal a provision of law that declares that the failure of an operator of a motor vehicle to secure a child in a car seat, in a booster seat, or with a seat belt is inadmissible as evidence in certain criminal actions. Additionally, the legislation would allow the enforcement of child car seat, booster seat, and seat belt requirements as a primary offense. The bill passed the Ohio House on Dec. 4.
Sponsored by Rep. Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster), House Bill 661 would reinstate the cost of living adjustment for members of the General Assembly and statewide elected executive officers. The bill would also increase the compensation of justices and judges of the courts, county elected officials, township trustees and fiscal officers, and board of elections members and reinstate the annual cost of living adjustment to their compensation. The bill passed the Ohio House on Dec. 4.