YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- For Enertech Electrical Inc. in Lowellville, dealing with quarterly income taxes can be a time-consuming process, CEO Greg Haren laments. The company, which does business in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, has to send paperwork out to some 20 to 30 municipalities, he said.
“You have to know all the different rules and regulations. It’s very time-consuming for people to put that together,” Haren explained.
Legislation moving through the Ohio Legislature that would simplify that process was among the topics addressed this morning by state Treasurer Josh Mandel during a meeting of the Youngstown Area Action Council of the National Federation of Independent Business. The legislation, H.B. 5, has cleared the Ohio House of Representatives but is not being debated in the state Senate, Mandel said.
“Most states in America don’t have municipal income taxes,” he said. “Ohio unfortunately is the only state in America that allows every single municipality to make up their own rules, own rates, own regulations and own forms.”
Ohio’s municipal income tax system probably has “the most convoluted system” of the 50 states, affirmed Andy Patterson, communications director for NFIB/Ohio. Coping with the state’s nearly 600 municipal income taxing jurisdictions can be “onerous” for NFIB members that work in multiple jurisdictions, such as electricians and landscapers.
“It’s a huge paperwork concern for our members in trying to stay in compliance with all these different jurisdictions they’re sending their employees to on a day-to-day basis,” Patterson said.
If approved by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, “H.B. 5 would add uniformity to the paperwork our members would have to fill out and make it more of a standardized process, as opposed to all the different definitions that they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis,” the NFIB/Ohio official added.
The legislation would not have any impact on tax rates for the municipalities, nor would it mean centralized tax collection, Patterson added.
“I like the ideas of simplicity,” remarked Jerry Ricciardi, partner with Bodine Perry LLC, which has offices in Warren, Canfield and Columbus. If passed, the legislation would benefit business owners across the board, he said.
Other topics which Mandel addressed during the NFIB meeting, held at City Machine Technologies, included efforts to increase transparency by making information about the state checkbook available online, the recently announced $1 billion rebate from the Bureau of Workers Compensation, and his advocacy for vocation and technical education.
Pictured: Josh Mandel, Andy Patterson from NFIB/Ohio, and Claudia Kovach, vice president of City Machine Technologies, which hosted the event.
Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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