Before General Assembly Breaks, Muni Tax Reform Coalition Lays Out the Case for House Bill 5

The Municipal Tax Reform Coalition is comprised of 32 different business organizations and was formed to drive support for municipal income tax uniformity legislation, House Bill 5, which passed the House in November 2013. However, June 3rd was the first chance for the group to lay out the case to some members of the Senate for why reform is needed and how the bill would achieve that objective.

 Representatives of the Ohio Chamber, CPA Society, NFIB/Ohio and the Associated General Contractors jointly presented background on the specific issues that are problematic for Ohio businesses and explained why HB 5 provides a uniform and fair solution to each. The Coalition members went into significant depth about the numerous meetings and negotiating sessions that have taken place over the last two years with the Ohio Municipal League (OML), municipal tax reform’s primary opponent, and representatives of other cities, because one member of the Senate Finance Committee asked several questions about how “involved” the municipalities had been in the discussions. The fact is OML’s concerns have been discussed thoroughly and taken into consideration regarding many of the issues addressed in the bill and they have been involved every step of the way.
 The Coalition also gave detailed descriptions of the major issues in the bill – five-year net operating loss carry-forward period, 20-day occasional entry rule, treatment of partnerships as a business entity and as individual partners, assessment and appeal procedures, throwback rule, preferred minimum tax payment thresholds, and other issues. While the Coalition reiterated their unswerving support of HB 5, we made it clear that our support doesn’t mean that the bill can’t still be improved. In fact, the Coalition said that the House version of HB 5 in the eyes of a number of our members probably doesn’t go far enough in making Ohio’s municipal income tax system more business-friendly. So, the Coalition acknowledges there is more work to do on the bill.
 While the General Assembly went on summer break after our Coalition presented, it is important groundwork for the upcoming lame duck session this fall where we hope significant progress will be made on this important business issue in Ohio. For more information, please visit the Coalition’s website.