Good news for small business owners in Ohio.
132nd Ohio General Assembly
Permanent Sales Tax Holiday
Senate Bill 226 – Sponsored by Senator Kevin Bacon (R – Minerva Park)
To provide for a permanent three-day sales tax “holiday” each August during which sales of clothing and school supplies are exempt from sales and use tax.
The bill makes permanent the temporary sales tax holidays that have been enacted over the past several years. A study indicates the benefits to state and county tax coffers through increased spending on these days on non-eligible exempt purchases. NFIB has supported previous sales tax holidays and advocated for a permanent holiday in Ohio. Ohio would have an advantage over neighboring states that do not have sales tax holidays.
Regulatory Reform (Legislative Oversight of State Agencies)
Senate Bill 221 – Sponsored by Senator Joe Uecker (R – Loveland)
To reform agency rule-making and legislative review thereof. The bill establishes a new right to the regulated community to petition to have a rule called up with the statutorily required five-year process should an adverse/unintended impact arise. The bill also encourages state agencies to implement rules in lieu of internal agency policy(s) and allows Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review to bring an agency before it for this purpose. The bill also requires state agencies to make available any texts that are incorporated by reference, so businesses do not have to incur the cost of purchasing.
Senate Bill 220 – Sponsored by Senators Bob Hackett (R – London) and Kevin Bacon (R – Westerville)
To provide a legal safe harbor to covered entities that implement a specified cybersecurity program, to allow transactions recorded by blockchain technology under the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, and to alter the definition of “key employee” under the Casino Gaming Law. The bill creates a safe harbor for businesses that meet certain minimum cybersecurity protocols, with deference to the size of businesses, to protect the information of their customers if they are sued for stolen information. These businesses will have to regularly update their protocols in order to keep this protection. The bill does not mandate but instead encourages businesses to implement cybersecurity protections for their businesses.
Small-Business Investor Tax Deduction
For pass-through entities in the state of Ohio, 100% of first $250,000 in business income is not taxed by the state, a flat 3% rate for income over $250,000. This applies to all partners within the business structure.
No new mandates in 132nd GA!!!
House Bill 271 – Sponsored by Representatives Rob McColley (R – Napoleon) and Jeff Rezabek (R – Clayton)
To authorize an alleged aggrieved party to provide a notice of an alleged accessibility law violation in advance of filing a civil action and to establish the circumstances under which an alleged aggrieved party is entitled to attorney’s fees in a civil action based on the violation. The bill requires an alleged aggrieved party affected by an accessibility violation to first file notice with the property owner before seeking a civil action. If the aggrieved party does not file notice they are not entitled to attorney’s fees unless the trial court deems appropriate based upon the nature of the violation. An individual is precluded from filing a civil action prior to a list of factors including allowing a property owner 90 days to remedy. The bill stipulates 15 days to respond to a complaint and gives property owners rights to contest. A plaintiff may recover attorney’s fees if notice was served and procedures under the bill followed. NFIB wants to ensure that business owners are not subjected to frivolous lawsuits particularly when they are not well-versed on the nuances of the ADA.
House Bill 494 – Sponsored by Representative Niraj Antani (R – Miamisburg)
To specify that a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee or employee of a franchisee for purposes of the Minimum Fair Wage Standards Law, the Bimonthly Pay Law, the Workers’ Compensation Law, the Unemployment Compensation Law, and the Income Tax Law and to require the Director of Administrative Services to establish the women-owned business enterprise program. The bill makes clear that for purposes of Ohio laws, the franchisee is the employer and not the parent entity (franchisor). This bill is in response to an NLRB ruling that changed decades of precedence and created a joint-employer standard, whereby our members that are franchise owners would no longer enjoy the flexibility to operate their own businesses. The bill also included House Bill 492 which establishes the women-owned business enterprise program requiring state agencies to establish women-owned business procurement goals.
Statute of Limitations reduced for filing a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
WORKERS’ COMP BUDGET – House Bill 27 – Sponsored by Representative Tom Brinkman (R – Cincinnati)
To make changes to the Workers’ Compensation Law, to make appropriations for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for the biennium beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2019, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of the Bureau’s programs. The bill is the biennial budget for the BWC, separate from the state operating budget. The $566.5 million budget is a 2.5% increase from the previous biennium. Ongoing monitoring will continue through the legislative process. The sub bill includes a provision that reduces the statute of limitations for filing a claim from 2 years to 1 year. This provision has been a decades-long priority of NFIB.
In Ohio, 25 members of NFIB are serving in the 133rd Ohio General Assembly.