The 29th annual Ohio Tax Conference recently wrapped up in Columbus. The conference is held over two days in late January. This year the weather was quite balmy, and speakers faced no weather delays at airports or on the highways. In past years weather has played a part in the conference and has become part of the lore of the Ohio Tax Conference in trade magazines and newsletters.
The conference attracted over 575 attendees who participated in six plenary sessions and then chose from 44 break-out sessions held in five time slots. The conference also offered two optional ethics sessions for professionals that needed ethics hours for annual certification, and these optional sessions have been hugely successful.
This year the Ohio Department of Taxation provided 21 speakers for the sessions. Sessions also included speakers from Washington DC, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Connecticut, New York, West Virginia, Texas, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, Ontario and British Columbia. Although the focus of the conference remained on Ohio tax matters, the conference also examined taxation in other states and cross-border transactions with Canada. The conference also includes a few sessions on technology, and for this year, a new session on the emerging blockchain technology.
The two-day conference provided the attendees an opportunity to hear about Ohio legislation impacting the tax community and the emerging trends in taxation. It also provided a refresher on Ohio taxes, Ohio tax cases and information about the Ohio Department of Taxation. Along with valuable information gained from the conference, the conference provided networking opportunities with state tax department employees, state legislators, economists and fellow tax practitioners.
Finally, the lunch speaker on day one was the Ohio Tax Commissioner who gave an update on the Department. That speech was followed by the announcement of the newest member of the Ohio Tax Hall of Fame: Jim Seiwert. Seiwert recently retired from Owens Illinois and was the longtime chair of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Tax Committee and emcee of the Ohio Tax Conference. Lunch on day two included a presentation on the economic outlook for the U.S. economy. Those in attendance heard good news on the continuation of a steady economy.
I encourage anyone in the tax profession, whether it is policy, compliance, or economic development to block the last week of January on their calendar and attend the 30th annual Ohio Business Tax Conference in 2021. I look forward to seeing you there.